SERAP Describes Increase in LASU Fees Unfair, Retrogressive:
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, has described the increase in tuition fees for students of Lagos State University, LASU, as unfair and retrogressive.
It called on the government to “urgently reverse the increase as we consider this to be manifestly unfair, unjust, discriminatory and retrogressive.”
In a letter dated April 4, 2014 and signed by its Executive Director, Mr. Tokunbo Mumuni, SERAP urged the state governor to use his position to reverse the fees, saying,”by reversing the tuition fees, your government will be demonstrating its sacred duty to promote equality in the society, and showing respect for international law requiring states to move towards free higher education when setting fees policy.”
The group also asked the governor to “establish a fellowship system that would enhance equality of educational access for students from disadvantaged groups.”
SERAP expressed concerns that increased fees limited access to education for students from disadvantaged backgrounds and directly violated the right to education, saying, “If the fees are allowed to stand, society as a whole will suffer.
“We believe that next in importance to freedom and justice is access to quality education, without which neither freedom nor justice can be maintained.
“The increased tuition fees have constituted a disincentive to poorer students attending LASU, because we continue to receive reports of decreasing level of enrolment to the school due primarily to the increased fees.
“We believe that the increased tuition fees discriminate against poorer students. As most students wishing to attend LASU cannot do so on the grounds of their economic and social conditions, their right of access to education is clearly being severely curtailed, if not extinguished.
“A hike in fees cannot be in the best interests of the child, which is a fundamental principle entrenched in international law, in particular, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Nigeria has ratified.”
It explained that “the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights to which Nigeria is a party provides that, higher education shall be made equally accessible to all on the basis of capacity, by every appropriate means, and in particular by the progressive introduction of free education.” (VANGUARD)