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Group Writes Fashola, Demands Reversal In LASU Tuition Fees

Ayo Balogun

Rights group, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has written to Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State demanding a reversal in the high school fees being paid at the Lagos State University (LASU).

There have been series of protests against the increment in LASU which goes up to over N250,000.

Lagos state governor Babatunde Fashola

Lagos state governor Babatunde Fashola

SERAP urged Fashola to urgently reverse the increased tuition fees for the students of Lagos State University (LASU) as we consider this to be manifestly unfair, unjust, discriminatory and retrogressive.

The organization asked the governor to use his good offices and leadership to ensure and guarantee that no LASU students will be denied access to education because they cannot pay the increased fees.

The letter dated 4 April, 2014 and signed by the group’s executive director Adetokunbo Mumuni stated that “by reversing the tuition fees, your government will be demonstrating its sacred duty to promote equality in the society, and showing respect for international law requiring states to move towards free higher education when setting fees policy.”

The group also asked the governor to establish a fellowship system that would enhance equality of educational access for students from disadvantaged groups.

SERAP expressed concerns that increased fees limit access to education for students from disadvantaged backgrounds and directly violate the right to education, saying that if the fees are allowed to stand, society as a whole will suffer.

“We believe that next in importance to freedom and justice is access to quality education, without which neither freedom nor justice can be maintained. The increased tuition fees have constituted a disincentive to poorer students attending LASU, because we continue to receive reports of decreasing level of enrolment to the school due primarily to the increased fees,” the group added.

According to the group, “We believe that the increased tuition fees discriminate against poorer students. As most students wishing to attend LASU cannot do so on the grounds of their economic and social conditions, their right of access to education is clearly being severely curtailed, if not extinguished. A hike in fees cannot be in the best interests of the child, which is a fundamental principle entrenched in international law, in particular, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Nigeria has ratified.”

“The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights to which Nigeria is a state party provides that, “Higher education shall be made equally accessible to all on the basis of capacity, by every appropriate means, and in particular by the progressive introduction of free education,” the group added.

“The covenant thus requires all states to introduce progressively free university education – in all subjects and at postgraduate level as well. The right to education is a serious matter concerning the quality and dignity of life, not products on a commodity market. We believe that education should not be considered a commodity and students are not consumers in a supermarket choosing which can of knowledge will attract the most wealth.”

“Education aims to provide the child with life skills, strengthen the child’s capacity to enjoy the full range of human rights and promote a culture which is infused by appropriate human rights values. Non-discrimination and economic accessibility mean that education must be accessible to all, especially the most disadvantaged students. Progressive introduction of free education means that while States must prioritize the provision of free primary education, they also have an obligation to take concrete steps towards achieving free secondary and higher education,” the group stated.




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