Students chantings songs of solidarity and waving placards saying “LASU is for all not the rich alone,” rallied today in Ogba, Ikeja, the capital of Lagos State to protest the recent massive tuition hike at the University.
The coalition, which included representatives of the Save Lagos State University (SAVELASU) group, Education Rights Campaign (ERC), unemployed graduate students and student union members, marched through the International Press Centre along Dideolu Court, Ogba calling for the immediate reduction of all LASU fees and the re-opening of the University.
Speaking shortly after their protest, National Coordinator of the Education Rights Campaign (ERC), Hassan Soweto said, “We…will continue to protect…education in Nigeria, not only in Lagos State University. We have been deprived of quality education in this country due to obnoxious policies of the state and our corrupt leaders.”
Lagos State University has been closed since January 23 following a protest when hundreds of students halted second semester examinations over tuition hikes.
Student tuition increased from N25,000 to N350,000 making Lagos State University the most expensive state-owned University.
University administrators have threaten to charge students the cost of repairing damages to the University which occurred during the protest.
ERC’s National Coordinator Soweto warned against this decision saying it might cause a riot and unending grievance in the school, saying,
“We are calling on all Lagosians and well-meaning Nigerians, LASU students – who believes that education is a right not a privilege to form a force against the cabal that wishes to price education out of the reach of the downtrodden.”
Other leaders and members of the coalition said they plan to take their campaign and peaceful protest to the Lagos State House Assembly on Tuesday, February 18th and submit a petition.
The petition, they said, would demand the re-opening of LASU, a call to reverse the tuition hike and re-start a registration portal for students to conclude their registration.
The petition would also ask the Lagos State Government to properly fund education and install democratic management at the University, and comply with UNESCO recommendations that 25 percent of the State’s annual budget should go into education.