Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM)

For struggle, Solidarity and Socialism in Nigeria

Committee for a Workers' International logo

Committee for a Workers' International


Join DSM
Contact DSM
About us
Our Manifesto

Socialist Democracy

Newspaper of the DSM

Trade Unions



Socialist Democracy July 2004



By Wale Eleto, Coordinator, ERC


A new campaign platform to raise issues concerning the state of education system in Nigeria and the educational right of a vast majority of youths has been launched. The youths are currently being denied access to educational opportunities, due to government's neo-liberal policy of commercialisation and cut in social spending on education, health amongst others. The platform is called Educational Rights Campaign (ERC).

ERC was launched on Monday, 17th May 2004 at the International Press Centre (IPC), Ogba, Lagos. Up to 50 people including student activists from various campuses, working class activists and members of the press. Also present was comrade Lanre Arogundade, a former president of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) whose leadership led the heroic students struggle against the education commercialisation policy of the Buhari/Idiagbon dictatorship in 1984. The vice-president (National Affairs) of the NANS Yemi Success was in attendance and gave a solidarity speech. The following day, 18th may, the ERC coordinator and the NANS VP were on Kakaaki, an AIT television programme. Some newspapers have featured ERC statements. For instance 19th and 20th May edition of Daily Independent, evening edition, published the picture of the public launching and the summary of the press text respectively.

The ERC is a brainchild of members of the Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM), the Nigerian section of the Committee for a Workers' International (CWI) and is being coordinated by the secretary of the DSM students' section Wale Eleto. But it is open to every other person(s) and group(s) who genuinely share the view of the need to struggle to salvage the Nigeria education system from its present comatose state. ERC campaigns for a united effort of all interest groups in the education sector. The students and teachers and the unions and organisations, the wider labour movement, civil society organisations, parents and also genuinely progressive political parties to mobilise the people around a well-articulated programme to defeat the anti-poor education commercialisation policy of the Obasanjo government.

Ultimately, ERC's goal is a democratically managed, free and high quality public education system. Transitionally, we are campaigning for:


(1) An end to the anti-poor policy of education commercialisation and imposition of fees.


(2) Massive government expenditure in public schools to expand existing facilities schools, laboratories/equipments, 1T sections, sporting and recreational facilities, books/libraries, student hostels and staff quarters, etc and create new ones in order to increase access to educational opportunities and improve on existing standards.


(3) Prompt and adequate remuneration of salaries and allowances of both teaching and non-teaching staff


(4) Democratic management of affairs of educational institutions with democratic representation of all interest groups, including students, in all policy making organs, particularly in higher institutions.


(5) Respect for democratic rights to organise and unionise independent of the authorities, an end to victimisation of unions, their leaders and organisations.



Socialist Democracy July 2004