Work and Study Scheme: A Solution to Students’ Financial Woes?


Sakeenah Kareem

On June 12, 2024, 2 days after the school resumed for the 2023/2024 session, the University administration released a memo titled “Work-Study Scheme”. The scheme was designed to allow students earn stipends to “complement whatever they get from their parents/guardian”.

The scheme is only available to students from 200 level and above with a minimum of 2.5 CGPA who have good health and excellent manners. This scheme contained an array of works from corporate work like research assistantship, library assistantship, lesson teachers, and computer analyst, to menial jobs like gardening, ushering, & laundry, and vocational skills like bead making & sewing.

While this scheme is aimed at providing students with an opportunity to earn while they learn, it however comes on the heels of a significant increase in school fees which has left many students struggling to make ends meet. This overlap raises questions about the motif of the scheme and its actualization.

For Oluwatayo Ogundare, a 300 level student of CLA, the scheme is a “smart move” by the school management. “It’s an avenue where students can earn tokens to support themselves along with what they receive from their parents,” he said.

However, he has concerns about the rigid educational system in Nigeria, which he believes may hinder the scheme’s success. “We operate a rigid educational system in Nigeria where students must have a particular attendance rate in class, face impromptu class exercises, and sometimes, lecturers fix classes at inconvenient hours. These are my concerns regarding the scheme, and until they are resolved, I don’t think the management is ready to actualize the scheme,” he added.

Ameenah Sanusi, a 400 level student of Islamic Studies Education, sees the scheme as an opportunity to grow and develop essential skills. “Participating in the scheme might allow me to develop essential skills and build a professional network, which could benefit my career advancement,” she said. She also believes that the scheme can provide significant assistance to students in two ways: income generation and skill development.

Olatunji Erioluwa Oluwapelumi, a 200 level student of English who has not yet considered applying for the scheme, believes it is a positive step, but its implementation is crucial to its success. “The introduction of the work and study scheme is a positive step, especially given the recent increase in school fees. It shows that the university is acknowledging the financial burden on students and attempting to provide a solution. However, it’s crucial to consider the scheme’s implementation and whether it will genuinely benefit students,” she said.

A 300 level student of English, Nabilah Alabi-Balogun, who has some engagements she is currently doing, is hesitant to apply for the scheme. “I think it’s a great initiative for students to earn while studying, especially when they can easily find categories of jobs that suit them within the school premises and also help them develop useful skills for the future. She also believes that “sufficient” is relative, depending on whether a student has other streams of income or perhaps doesn’t need more than what the work fetches them.

The scheme’s requirements, such as a minimum 2.5 CGPA, good health, and excellent manners, have also raised concerns. Some students feel these requirements may exclude those who need the scheme the most. “Not all students will be eligible for the study and work scheme, as there will always be some pre-existing criteria to be the right candidate for the scheme,” said Oluwatayo Ogundare.

As the scheme rolls out, it remains to be seen how it will impact students’ financial struggles. Will it provide the much-needed relief, or is it just a drop in the ocean? Only time will tell. The university management must ensure that the scheme is implemented effectively, taking into account the concerns and needs of all students.

The work and study scheme is a step in the right direction, but its success depends on various factors, including its implementation, the needs of students, and the university’s commitment to supporting its students. As Ameenah Sanusi said, “It’s not actually a sufficient solution to the fee hike.” The university must continue to explore ways to support its students, including providing quality education at an affordable cost.

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