The Socialist Youth League (SYL) in Olabisi Onabanjo University says a categorical NO to the draconian tuition fee hike in the university. We demand the immediate and unequivocal reversal of this increment. The old fees were already very difficult for most of us and our parents to pay. Any increase whatsoever would have amounted to throwing out a significant number of students from the university, not to talk of when these range from 160% to 200%! The increments include:
N92,872 to N260,000, N114,038 to N300,000, N143,000 to N350,000, and N160,500 to N450,000. This is outrageous and absolutely unacceptable.
Education is a right and not a privilege. The government has a responsibility to provide equal education opportunities at all levels, as stated in Section 18 of Nigeria’s Constitution.
To achieve this, governments at all levels must fund education adequately. Instead of adequately financing the provision of public education, the APC governments in Ogun State under Governor Dapo Abiodun and at the federal level under President Bola Tinubu are commodifying it. In fact, one of the university’s two Deputy Vice-Chancellors is on record as saying that education is a commodity! However, the commodification of education will allow only children from rich families to be able to access public education. And this will lead to worsening the already terrible level of social inequality.
We insist that governments must fund education. It is a public good that contributes to the societal development and well-being of the people. Education enhances individuals’ skills, knowledge, and capabilities, fostering economic growth, social stability, and innovation. Only government funding can ensure that education is accessible to a broader population, including those of us from working-class backgrounds. To promote equality in Olabisi Onabanjo University and beyond, the school management has to revert to the old fees, at the very least.
SYL OOU thus supports the Students’ Union of our great university, which has taken a stand to fight this battle until victory.
We strongly encourage the union to educate and promote our stance against the fee increase to the public, including trade unions in the education sector and others in the state. This will help us expand our support base for our fight. Most importantly, we the students must take determined action to make it clear to management that we will not accept the increment. We can stop it only with mass action of students. This is the time to mobilise and organise to win! We must dare to struggle to dare to win!! We must unite and fight, NOW!