Democratic Socialist Movement

For Struggle, Solidarity and Socialism in Nigeria

By - DSM

Parents of students of Lagos State Model Colleges protest increment of fee

September 2 protest

Members of the Education Rights Campaign (ERC) participated in a protest of parents of students of the Lagos State Model Colleges on Tuesday, 2nd of September 2021.

Onabule Mayowa

The protest was organized by the Lagos State Unified Model College Parent’s Forum to express dissatisfaction over the attempt of the Lagos State government to hike the boarding feeding fee from N25,000 to N50,000 at the 15 schools . The fee was initially hiked to N125,000 but the government agreed to reduce it to N50,000 after pressure was mounted by the parents. However, the parents have flatly rejected this amount insisting on a boarding feeding fee of not more than N30,000 inclusive of hostel requirements. According to the parents, the old fee of N25, 000 ought to be enough as a feeding fee but for the endemic corruption of school principals and officials of the Ministry of Education.

The protest started around 11 am at the Ikeja city mall. The parents, numbering over 50 and armed with banners and placards with various slogans and demands, marched down to the Governor’s office. Some of the demands on the placards are: (1) #30,000 minimum wage cannot pay #50,000 boarding feeding fee (2) our children have to be fed well etc.

Police stop the protest

However, some minutes into the peaceful protest, a contingent of police were deployed to stop the protest just a few meters from the gate of the House of Assembly. As usual, the police hid under the excuse that a letter notifying them of the protest was not written. This is a usual and illegal ploy by the state to prevent protest and demonstration. After some singing, chanting, and public display of dissatisfaction by the protesters, the leadership agreed to call off the action.

The next stage in the campaign against the anti-poor fee hike is next week Tuesday, 7 September 2021 when the House of Assembly committee on education is due to meet with the leadership of the parents to discuss the hike. It is instructive that the notification of this meeting came 48hours before the protest. Apparently, the expectation of the state was that with such a letter of invitation, parents would suspend their action. But such was the mood of anger that the emergence of this letter only further goaded the parents into going ahead.

Protesters with their demands

Now there are calls that another protest be held on Tuesday as the meeting with the House of Assembly takes place. The ERC supports this proposal and urges that more and more actions be planned to deepen the pressure on the government. It is only through consistent struggle that victory can be won. We also urge that part of the demands should include a call for improved funding of education and democratic management of schools.