Democratic Socialist Movement

For Struggle, Solidarity and Socialism in Nigeria

By - DSM

ERC: Ajegunle Chapter Holds Free Coaching Classes

ERC: Ajegunle Chapter Holds Free Coaching Classes

The Ajegunle Branch of Education Rights Campaign (ERC) held the second edition of free coaching classes between August 2 and September 6, 2006, for senior secondary school students in the community. About 150 students participated in the programme. The maiden edition took place last year.

The coaching was rounded up with a symposium with theme: “student future and education”.

Virtually all the contributors at the programme took swipe at the neo-liberal economic programme being implemented by the government at all levels, which has meant gross under-funding of education. As a result, most schools from primary to university level lack adequate facilities required for quality education. The living and working conditions of teachers and other education workers are abysmal. Inadequacy of facilities in the higher institutions means that most of the qualified secondary schools are denied admission. For instance, less than 20% of 800, 0000 students seeking admission to universities this year will be admitted. This is besides the exorbitant fees charged by the institutions that have made it difficult for students of working class and poor parents to have access to university education.

Dagga Tolar and Victor Osakwe who were among the speakers at the event, which was covered by a journalist from This Day, one of the national newspapers, called on the students to join the ERC. This they said would enable the students to involve in the campaigns which include the demand on the government to commit public resources to the proper funding of education and the agitation for an end to all anti-poor neo-liberal attacks in schools and the larger society.

A short drama aimed at discouraging examination malpractices was staged by the students. The drama however traced the root of examination malpractices to the failure of the government to fund education properly. Most students resort to cheat in the examination because they are not thought well in the schools or in the case of matriculation examination, out of desperation to secure admission out of limited space available.

Seven students joined the ERC at the end of the coaching and four of them have since been active in the activities of the organisation.