Democratic Socialist Movement

For Struggle, Solidarity and Socialism in Nigeria

By - DSM

ERC Holds Free Holiday Coaching In Ajegunle

ERC Holds Free Holiday Coaching In Ajegunle

(By Moshood Osunfurewa & Tunde Yusuf)

The 2013 edition of the annual free holiday coaching exercise of the Education Rights Campaign (ERC) held at the Anglican Primary School, 1 Ezie Lane via Arumoh Street, Oppositee Boundary Road, Ajegunle Apapa, Lagos. First day of classes held on Monday 5th August, 2013. Over 300 students participated with about 42 persons signing up as volunteer teachers.

Starting 8 years ago, the free holiday coaching has become part and parcel of the community campaign work of the ERC in Ajegunle city – a sprawling and densely populated slum in the heart of Lagos state. The free coaching is to demonstrate in practice the possibilities of a public funded free education system placed under the democratic control of the community, students and teachers.

In preparation for the commencement of this year’s coaching, comrades at the community branch of the ERC circulated 2,000 pieces of leaflets in Tolu complex which houses about 16 secondary schools. They also leafletted in Orege/Mile two area, Sari-Igamu/Orile and Ijora/Badia area and other neighboring communities.

This year Nigeria has experienced new increase in the number of out-of-school children which current estimates places at 10.5 million. Some few years ago, it was just about 7.3 million. This clearly shows that government much-vaunted education reforms – neo-liberal and anti-poor education policies of school privatisation and commercialisation – are not working. In reality, privatisation policies and the fee-paying regime of schooling system only succeeds in pushing more and more youths out of school especially as working class parents are seeing their income and living conditions plummet.

In Ajegunle, many secondary school students are unable to afford the cost of private coaching classes during the summer breaks. Meanwhile every secondary school student in Nigeria cannot do without extra coaching classes to prepare for school certificate or tertiary entrance examinations because of the low quality of education at the public secondary schools.

All this is why the ERC free summer coaching enjoys lots of support in the Ajegunle community. For many it is the only opportunity to attend a coaching during the summer holiday. But the coaching does more than this. The coaching is also forum to involve young people in the debate over crisis of public education, government anti-poor policies and ultimately the need to fight to change society. This is achieved through political education programs, career and counseling talks, literary debate, prose, poetry, songs and drama.

Presently as thing stands under the capitalist system, the future of the youth is very bleak. For example, students in tertiary institutions all over the federation are at home due to a strike of University lecturers provoked by the failure of the government to implement the agreement

These are some of the reasons socialists working in the ERC links the campaign for better education funding with the struggle for a revolutionary overthrow of capitalism.