Categorized | National News

TYA President Urges Gov’t to Stop COB Tuition Increase

President of the Torchbearers Youth Association (TYA) Ronique Brown yesterday expressed her disapproval over the hike in tuition fees at the College of The Bahamas (COB) and urged the government to stop this increase.

“We urge the government, who made grand promises to the Bahamian people regarding doubling investments in education, to dismiss and reject any requests that are presented to increase fees this time,” Ms. Brown said in a statement yesterday.

Recently, COB announced an increase of fees of up to 50 per cent and according to Ms. Brown, the increase is not needed, and is ill-timed.

“It is our view that no such increase is needed at this time, especially when many Bahamians are still feeling the pinch of a slowed and dampened Bahamian economy,” she said.

“With an overall increase in the cost of living in The Bahamas, compounded with the debilitating effects that have been brought about as a result of the introduction of value-added tax (VAT), students are already struggling to meet the costs of obtaining a quality education.”

Ms. Brown said she is quite aware that education is the key to a future, but feels that the increase in fees is not allowing students access to that key.

“We appreciate the fact that education is the key to the future, the key to economic opportunities and financial independence; however it seems as if the college at this time wishes to make this possibility even more difficult to achieve,” said Ms. Brown.

Ms. Brown said she believes the increase of tuition fees is as a result of decrease in funding for COB as the government chooses to spend money on “frivolous activities”.

“It is a known fact that the college’s operating costs have outstripped revenues and led to a deficit over the past few years, but we must remain mindful of the fact that the Government of the Bahamas during the period 2012-2014 slashed subventions to the college by some $6.7 million. This fact alone serves as evidence of the fact that campaign promises have not been fulfilled,” she said.

“This decrease in funding to the college is obviously a contributing factor as to why a request for increased fees is even being made at this time. If the government is to approve such increases, they will simply continue to demonstrate that the promises made to the Bahamian people were a farce and that there is no intention to foster economic empowerment and independence through education for our young people.”

Ms. Brown encouraged students at the College of The Bahamas to fight against any such increases.

She said the Torchbearers Youth Association will stand united with the College of The Bahamas Union of Students to prevent any such increases.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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