By Jide Afolabi
Over 5, 000 students’ of Osun State Polytechnic, Iree will on Monday stage a peaceful rally in the town to protest against apparent commercialisation of tertiary education in the state.
This was contained in a press release issued on Friday by the Senior Special Assistant to the Students’ Union President President, Media and Publicity, Comrade Mustapha Aleem and signed by the President, Comrade Bolaji Olaniyi and the body’s Public Relations Officer, Comrade Ogungbemi Kazeem, a copy of which was sent to City Mirror News.
The students’ union derided the government for shifting the burden of funding the education sector on the parent’s. They said that the implication is that, parents and sponsors would be made to shoulder responsibilities that are supposed to be borne by the government.
The statement reads, “Just recently, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology went through a near-hell experience as their tuition fees were increased by over 130 per cent. It took series of appeals and demonstrations before the inimical upward review was reversed but to about 50 per cent.”
“Similar fate was suffered by students of this institution last session and as we speak, such fee has been given a root in this school. We want to say at this point that we cannot condone any alien policy that would be inimical to our studentship. Many could be forced out of school much less graduating. Even coming generation who are of humble background would be discouraged from going to school.”
The union said that it has now become its responsibility to campaign against commercialisation of tertiary education in the country if they were to fulfil their potentials in the future. “By this, we mean it has now become a responsibility for us to come together as one united people with one voice and echo it to the concerned stakeholders that we refuse any agenda to shift government’s responsibilities of providing affordable education to the masses.” They said.
The union however called on the students’ to conduct themselves in a peaceful manner during the rally. They said that they do not “want a situation where by we would have to pay for damages for public properties destroyed or defaced.”
They called on the students’ to come out en-masse and participate in the rally in order to “forestall a bleaky future for Nigerian educational system vis-a-vis the masses, let’s redeploy our strength to the protection of our future.”
The rally would take off by 6am from the popularly Poly Junction in the town.