Civil Societies Organize Workshop for Students' leaders
LAGOS, Nigeria, June 30 -- Civil Society organise workshop for Students’ Leaders
by Musbaudeen Shekoni , 200-level, Mass Communication-LASU
On Wednesday,27 June ,2012 at Faculty of Education’s Hall 1, students converged for a One- Day workshop organised by Action Aid Activista in conjunction with Education Students’ Representative Council( ESRC) for the students leaders in LASU, to determine how to salvage themselves from what they termed “ Leadership Oppression” .
With the theme: “Building Rights Consciousness Amongst Leaders”, the event was graced by lecturers, past and present union leaders and civil liberty organisations.
Speaking on “Underfunding Education and Attack on Student Unionism: Time to Fight Back”, Mr. Hassan Taiwo the National Coordinator, Education Rights Campaign (ERC) said the that none of the leadership of Nigeria is ready to salvage public education from the multifarious problems militating against it ranging from, inadequate infrastructural facilities, mismanagement, brain-drain and mass exam failure among students.
He stressed that indeed the ruling parties and oppositions have one single agenda which is: to increasingly commercialise public education and destroy all Government owned schools up to the stage when it sale to the private business will appear to be the only solution.
Furthermore, Mr. Hassan maintained that Nigeria students have witnessed sustain attacks on their fundamental rights to freedom of association and expression as enshrined in the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and other international conventions. These attacks include suspension of Students’ Union in LASU and OAU, Ile Ife where Union officers like Fredrick Joel (president), Benjamin Nelson (Secretary General) and Adediran Adeyemi (PRO) were suspended.
He said to us these suspension and proscription of students unions is illegal and enjoined Students’ Union Leaders to stop the excessive patronage of school management, Government and corrupt politicians in order to be able to defend the interest of students without any fair of intimidation and victimization.
As a blockage to possible skyrocket of school fees in Federal Institutions, underfunding, illegal ban of students’ Union and suspension of leaders, he called for a re-launch of a national campaign against underfunding. “The fight should start with a one-day lecture boycott and mass protest in one or two campuses where leafleting, symposia, public meetings, rallies among others will be used as tools to gain huge audience participation” he submitted.
Former LASUSU president, Lai Adebayo highlighted the various tools that students’ Union in all universities can employ to drive home their pressing demands. While speaking on the topic “Best Practices and Tools of Engagement in Students’ Unionism”, he mentioned lobbying, boycott, petition, media, protest and demonstration, and partnership and connections as viable tools.
Mr. Ken Okeinneme, Policy Campaign Officer-Action Aid Nigeria urged the students to urgently move to translate their words into action so as not to be drowned in waters of oppression while treating the topic “ organizing in the context of Right-The Human Right Based Approach (HRBA).