In appreciation of his contributions to the improvement of education in the country, the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) in the South West Zone, on Monday, honoured the Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola, with a Certificate of Commendation.
Governor Fashola, who recently announced a reversal of the school fees in the Lagos State University (LASU) to its old structure, got the students’ applause for giving them a listening ear and allowing them the chance to contribute their quota to the growth of education by getting proposals from them, while they engaged the government during the recent students crisis.
The students, represented by their “Senators” from all the higher institutions in the South West Zone, said that the Governor struck them as the right leader to turn the country around through the creative way he recognized the import of their arguments that education could be run in a way as to encourage both the children of the rich and the poor to fulfill their gifts for education, without creating classes and division among them.
Governor Fashola received the recognition award at the Lagos House, Ikeja, and charged them to always reflect on how the quality of education can be improved. While making a commitment that the State Government would solve the problem of the issue of quality of education, he stated that the students also have a role to play in proffering solutions.
“I am also inquiring from you that how can we improve the quality of education? So that we can begin to plan how to produce our next sets of graduates that would produce our cars, give us electricity, perform heart and kidney surgeries here. It may look so far away but we are so closer to getting out and you are so close to taking over. We need to quickly fill that gap”, he stated.
On the Lagos State University (LASU) issue, Governor Fashola said, ”It was the students who asked for intervention in their school. All actions have consequences. When you sought the setting up of visitation panels, you don’t know what the result would be. What you did not realize is that you were asking outsiders to come. I hope the right lessons have been learnt. For us it is about making things better. You must ask yourself, is your method working? If they are not working, are you reflecting on changes?” he said.
Fashola expressed gladness that the school fees issue ended in the way it did, which exceeded the expectation of the students, adding that it was important to remind everyone of how it all started and that the State Government did not just wake up and decided to increase fees in LASU.
He said, “Part of the recommendation also was that there should be massive investment in infrastructure funding and part of it was that we should also increase school fees. It was not our initiative It was the consequence of the choice that you made.”
The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) Zone D Coordinator, Mr Sunday Ashefon, commended the Governor for surprising the students with his decision on the LASU fees because what the students were clamoring for was a reduction. He said, ”The fees payable in LASU now is not obtainable in any tertiary institution in Nigeria today.” He described Governor Fashola as another Awolowo of his generation.