By Adejumo Kabir
The students of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, under the aegis Alliance of Nigerian Students Against Neo Liberal Attacks (ANSA), on Tuesday held symposium on underfunding of education.
The symposium held amidst the arrest of one of the students of the University, Afolabi Samuel by the security unit of the institution that the symposium should not hold.
While the university management argued that the group holding the symposium is not registered with Division of Students Affairs, the students said their matriculation make them register student and that the provision of the Constitution of Nigeria gives rooms for freedom of association.
The head of the university security patrol who simply identified himself as Mr. Oyeyemi said the security team “cannot act against order of the university management that instruct us to make sure that the symposium did not hold because the group organising it is not registered”
“The university management want to keep clamping on our right, our aim is to hold symposium and liberate ourselves on role of students and staff on underfunding of education in Nigeria”, a student who does not want his name mentioned for security reasons told IFE CITY NEWS
The symposium tagged: “Underfunding of Education and The Consequences – The Role of Students and Staff”.
While speaking at the symposium, Ropo Ewenla, the former President of National Association of Nigerian Students, and Director of Media Centre, University of Ibadan said the problem of the educational system students and staff do not understand their roles as stakeholders.
“The larger task of making sure education is not funded is for people to remain ignorant because the quality of education determines the quality of questions that will be ask”.
He argued that to address the issue of underfunding, the irregularities must first be eradicated in a OAU. Mr. Ewenla charged the students to continue to come together to discuss the problem affecting the educational sector.
Another speaker, Oguma Andrew, said the society cannot move forward if the universities denied students of gathering to discuss issues affecting them.
“It is not about graduating but about leaving the university a better state we met it,” he said. “The only problem to problem affecting education is taking practical steps and demanding what is right”
He concluded that proper funding of education can only be achieved if Nigerian government yield to the call of UNESCO that 26% of budgetary allocation on education.