Not less than 1,292 Students of the Lagos State University (LASU) cannot pay their school fees even as students prepare for their examination starting Monday, April 7, 2014.
National Coordinator, Education Rights Campaign, Comrade Taiwo Soweto made the revelation while speaking at a one day symposium with the theme, How Fee Hike and Commercialization Kill Public Education, LASU as a Case Study.
He said that parents of those who have been able to pay the latest fee in LASU do so at great difficulty, adding that some sold personal vehicle while others have to take loans from cooperative to be able to pay the fees adding that only a little over 200 students have been able to obtain scholarship from the Lagos State Government, adding that that indigene of the state who have been able to obtain bursary from the institution do so with a lot of rigour adding that to impute that the students are being sponsored by opposition parties is nothing but an insult to parents who pay school fees in LASU and the collective intelligent of students in the institution.
He attributed the crisis in LASU to the shutting of school portal by the Vice Chancellor of the School and the shooting of students which turned what was a peaceful protest into a violent one.
Also speaking at the event, President National Union of Lagos State Student, Mr. Mademaku Abayomi said two categories of scholarships are available at LASU. He said one is administered by the institution which has a GP of 4.5 and another administered through the state government with a GP of 3.5 adding that condition for qualifying for the scholarships have been become very tough since fees were increased in LASU.
As for bursary, he said, law and students reading medicine are entitled to N80,000, N65,000 for students in humanities and N40, 000 for those in the department of education adding that the bursary is insignificant compared to fee of over N200,000 paid by students. He alleged that many who apply for the bursary are denied while those who qualify are either not paid or paid in trickles.
He said that students now believe that the way forward is for the Lagos State Government to scrap the bursary and scholarship and revert the hike in school fees in LASU.
In his contribution, son of the late Human Rights Activist, Mr. Mohammed Fawehinmi called on the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola to declare free education in Lagos State for all level adding that the governor and his later father benefited from free education.
Also speaking, President Global Education Consultant, Mr. Sunday Fayose said asking students in LASU to pay fees is nothing but double taxation since parents pay tax to the state government. He argued that the state government owe it a moral responsibility to invest public fund in education the way it is investing it on roads and other infrastructures.