Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM)
For struggle, Solidarity and Socialism in Nigeria
Committee for a Workers' International
Newspaper of the DSM
UNADSU: NEED FOR PART TIME STUDENTS ASSOCIATION
By Onikosi Lukmon, Coordinator, ERC, UNAD
Ever since the emergence of the Part-Time (PT) programme in the University of Ado-Ekiti, the part-time students have been faced with incessant series of exploitation and anti-students policies ranging from "no fee, no examination" policy, excessive registration charges, delay in release of results and conduct of exams, non-issuance of ID cards, non-issuance of hand book after payment, unstipulated course outline, just to mention a few.
The management realizes much money from the PT programme, 70% of which is remitted to the state. Yet, the programme lacks adequate lecture theatres of its own, exams are written without knowing the last results, while academic calendar fluctuates between 6 and 9 months for a semester, among many others
However, the mass of the PT students have been agitating for improvement and against anti-student policies of the management. But due to the lack of a common fighting platform for the PT students, little has only been achieved.
The situation is worsened by the fact that the successive leaderships of University of Ado-Ekiti Students' Union (UNADSU) have refused to identify with the plights of PT students or ably represent their interests. This does not, however, suggest that they have been able to defend the interests of regular students. A radical students' union leadership would have fought for genuine cause of students irrespective of mode of study (part time or full time). But UNADSU has lacked such leadership for a long while.
Besides, the PT students are not allowed to contest or vote in the students' union elections despite paying the mandatory union charges.
The respect by the management of the democratic rights of PT students to have their own independent association to defend common interests is a fundamental task that must be fought for.
However, the agitation for a fighting platform of the PT students must be linked with agitation for their democratic participation in the students' union activities. Every PT student is already a financial member of the union. Thus, the PT students must be allowed to participate to the fullest in any socio-political activity on campus, without creating disparity or limitation to any political offices.
More importantly, in the course of this agitation, PT students must seek the solidarity and support of the regular students.
The PT academic rot is a product of the neo-liberal policies of education commercialization where government hands off adequate funding of education sector like every other social service. The education sector is turned into profit making arena via the privatization of hostels, insurance policy, exploitative tuition and other academic fees.
The struggle for a well-funded education sector must be linked with the struggle against capitalism, a system that places profit over the need of a toiling majority. Everything within the system virtually becomes a sacred reserve for the few rich
We of the Education Right Campaign (ERC) condemn in strong terms the exploitative character of the PT management and demand an end to it.
The PT students must immediately launch the agitation for:
• Formation of a PT association
• Democratic participation in the student union activities with rights to vote and be voted for.
• Immediate release of all past examination results before another exams.
• An end to exploitative handouts, faculty dues, etc.
• Adequate lecture theatres.
• Adequate funding of the education sector.