LASU Protest, A Fight For Survival – Analyst
A public affairs analyst and representative of the Joint Action Front, Achike Chude, on Monday, described the on-going protest by students of the Lagos State University (LASU) – over the hike in school fees as a fight for survival.
Appearing as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Chude said the policy was “most irresponsible” of the Lagos government, insisting that education is “about a service that is crucial and important for the well-being of the State”.
He also argued that the controversy over the development of the school and the increase in fees, required will-power on the part of the government to ensure that the citizens got education, no matter what.
“Our leadership, in as much as some of them have been educated within and outside the country, they do not seem to understand the virtue of education. You pay a price if you do not educate your people,” he said, noting that although “education is not enough, it is a way forward”.
Referring to the recent ASUU strike, he stressed that the government had become comfortable based on the inaction of the people for many years and bad governance was helping to radicalise those considered docile.
He made mention of the recommendation of UNESCO which urged governments to set aside 26% of its budget for education, asking that “how much is Lagos State spending on education?”
Chude disclosed that the position of JAF on the matter was for government to reverse the fee to what it was before the protests, as it was the duty of government to inject funds into the system.
“Education should be free in this country, because of where we are and the government capacity.”
Asked why students usually protest any change made in the education system, particularly, any increase in fees, Chude explained that “there is a nexus between the average student and the government institution because he is aware his parents contributed to building that infrastructure”” .
He noted that as long as it was a public institution, people had the right to ask questions.
He further said that the fact that people were sending their children abroad to be educated does not make it a LASU issue. It is a Nigerian one.
“There’s nothing wrong if LASU is a school for the poor,” he said.