Democratic Socialist Movement

For Struggle, Solidarity and Socialism in Nigeria

By - DSM

Over One Decade of the ERC Free Holiday Coaching in Ajegunle

Over One Decade of the ERC Free Holiday Coaching in Ajegunle

By Fidel Davynovich, DSM, Ajegunle

This year’ annual free summer coaching of the Education Rights Campaign (ERC) came to an end on Wednesday 9 September, 2015. This was after six weeks of the exercise with about 450 secondary school students (in SS1, SS2 and SS3) and 30 volunteer teachers participating.

Because of the very low quality of education in public schools, secondary school students often need extra coaching during the school holidays to prepare more adequately for external examinations that could get them a place in a University, polytechnic or colleges of education. But the cost of a private coaching is rarely within the means of most poor families. When it comes to poverty, Ajegunle is a synonym of a sort. Ajegunle, the Lagos community where the ERC coaching is organized, is a sprawling slum. Rarely remembered in the State government urban renewal plans, the community’s neglect is an evidence of the class-apartheid that Lagos mega city projects really is.

Like most poor communities around Lagos and across Nigeria, Ajegunle’s physical deprivation is depressing. Children run bare clothed along flea-infested swamps and yawning canals – their dark watery content swirling like the filthy cauldron of Macbeth’s witches. What goes for a home for a majority of the residents are overcrowded hovels. These depressing features nonetheless, the ERC coaching is a witness, for a decade, to the astounding talents, brilliance and remarkable potentials of Ajegunle youth, and above all, their unbreakable spirit.