The Right To Privilege, The Story Of Education In Nigeria

(By Ismael Taiwo)

Without gainsaying, the right to education has been totally eroded from the modus of operandi of those saddled with the responsibility of managing the affairs of the education sector of today. This shows that the right of those times is now a privilege today. Series of increment in fees of our tertiary institutions are now the order of the day. Many students have dropped out of schools while some female students have turned themselves to Queens of Night (PROSTITUTES) as a result of un-affordable fees being charged in our higher institutions.

Gone are those days where education is a fundamental human right of every citizen, an era where everybody was encouraged to acquire free and qualitative education, a time where government prioritized on the quality and standard of education rather than the money-making
ventures the education of today has turned to.

It is so pathetic that those who enjoyed the right to education in the above stated era are now those that are inflicting pains on the Nigerian Students as a result of the exorbitant fees being charged in our ivory towers in the present time. Without iota of doubt, it is a known fact that the bedrock of development of any nation lies in its education sector. In the past era, Nigeria has recorded tremendous growth as a result of equal right to the education sector which served
as the hallmark of leadership of the said era.

Without gainsaying, the right to education has been totally eroded from the modus of operandi of those saddled with the responsibility of managing the affairs of the education sector of today. This shows that the right of those times is now a privilege today. Series of increment in fees of our tertiary institutions are now the order of the day. Many students have dropped out of schools while some female students have turned themselves to Queens of Night (PROSTITUTES) as a result of un-affordable fees being charged in our higher institutions.

Dear Reader, how can we tell the parent whose minimum wage is under N18,000 to pay almost N105,000 charges for fresh students of LAUTECH and UNIOSUN which is not less than N100,000 total charges for the freshers. Definitely, such parent will have to go extra mile to pay
the money so as not to jeopardise the admission of the child. It is a wide broadcast when the management of Obafemi Awolowo University just woke one day and annouced the astronomical increment of the fresh students from N40,000 including the acceptance fee to the tune of N90,000. So my brother, where is the right to education? UNIBEN and UNILAG are also there with their exorbitant charges. If not recently reduced, no less-privilege will afford N250,000 LASU fee.

The Polytechnics/Monotechnics and Colleges of Education are also systematically engaged in extortion of money from the students through exorbitant charges for POST-UTME, selling of handouts and sudden increment of fees. The cases of Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta
and Edo State Poly where fresh students pay nothing less that N90,000 as charges for the admitted students are also a seggregation from making education which is supposed to be a right to a privilege.

In recent time, the Oyo State Government, Sen. Isiaq Ajimobi said in a media chat that the proposed Oyo State Technical University is not for the poor but the rich. If one of our leaders could say this statement, definitely the right by all to education is now a privilege.

To crown this piece up, this is now a challenge to all stakeholders in the education sector, most especially the student leaders to team up and drive away the cankerworm that has eaten deep into the fabric of our education sector which is PRIVILEGE. It is a collective task to
make education a right back in Nigeria. Togetherness, we can fix it. I submit with Frantz Fannon words “The future will have no pity for those men who possess exceptional privilege of being able to speak the words of truth to their oppressors but have taken refuge in an attitude of mute, passivity and sometimes in cold complicity.

Thanks.

Ismael Taiwo A.
Immediate past PRO, NANS-JCC Oyo Axis
08053256536

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