A civil society group, Education Rights Campaign (ERC) has condemned the president Muhammadu Buhari’s administration over its poor budgetary allocation to the sector lamenting the woes faced by staff and students of Nigerian institutions.
National coordinator of ERC, Hassan Soweto said both the Federal and state governments have failed woefully in funding and maintenance of standard required for the provision of quality education for students and pupils. Soweto who disclosed this at a briefing to expose the salient issues prevalent in the education sector said, “Effective 2015, budgetary allocations to education by Federal and state governments have continued to decline. In the 2019 budget, only N620.5bn was allocated to public education while in the 2020 appropriation bill, only N652.94bn which is just 6.9 per cent of the sum is being proposed as allocation to the education sector.
“Considering the collapse of our currency and other economic factors, these allocation fall below previous budgets and are grossly incapable of addressing the basic needs of the sector,” Soweto lamented.He said all these play a vital role in nose diving qualitative education in the country.
“At the moment, the number of out-of -school children has risen to 13.5million, while those in school have to endure poor facilities, outmoded curriculum and inexperienced or ill-motivated teaching staff, leading to half-baked graduates. National Secretary of ERC, Inukun Omole accused tertiary institutions of extortion, mismanagement of funds and despotic steps towards staff unions and students.
Omole alleged that managements extort students by introducing all kinds of miscellaneous charges such as library, security, laboratory and practicals as means of increasing fees.
“For instance at the Lagos State University (LASU), a more novel way of increasing tuition through backdoor has been introduced and this is called Stream 2 admission programme with a price tag of N150, 000 per newly admitted students.”while stream 1 candidates pay the normal fee of N25, 000,” he said.
“Those who still recall our struggle in 2014 to make LASU affordable for both the rich and poor will find the new step taken disheartening.
“LASU receives up to half a billion naira subvention from Lagos state government every month, the highest paid by any government in South west Nigeria. They also received N3b TETFUND support, this is aside all other internally generated revenue from other programmes and activities in the coffers of LASU thus no need to overburden parents.
He mentioned that student union remains proscribed in UNILAG and FUOYE while workers in Lagos State-owned institutions are constantly victimised.
He also condemned sexual harassment on campuses describing it as a product of patriarchal and capitalist society that objectify women and reinforces their oppression.