Wednesday, 29 August 2012


By Lexan Ali and Fidel Davynovich
(Members of the DSM Ajegunle Branch)

After the Eid-El-Fitri (Post Ramadan Muslim festival) national holiday on Monday and Tuesday, the Education Rights Campaign (ERC) free summer coaching initiated by the Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM) Ajegunle branch resumed on Wednesday - the third week of the exercise.

As usual, coaching started by 9.00 am in the morning at the same venue (Anglican Primary School) in Ajegunle with students continuing their lecture in the various subjects.
Today’s coaching is an added boost which again recorded more students attending the exercise. This time the number of students in attendance was 214 while the volunteers’ teachers were 13. Also, today witnessed new students within and outside the Ajegunle community coming for the first-time since the initiation of this exercise. Most of them commented that they haven’t seen such a free coaching before.
Many people within the community continue to appreciate the work of the ERC. DSM and ERC members have also continued to emphasize the purpose of the coaching is to  demonstrate that free and quality education is possible in Nigeria if only the resources of the country is judiciously and democratically used to invest in rebuilding the collapsing education system.

The ERC coaching started 9:00am as usual. The turnout of students and teachers was impressive with orderly conducts of the students and a high sense of responsibility displayed by the teachers in the conduct of the lesson.
The number of students in attendance was 222 while the teachers were 14. All the subjects for the day were taught. After the close of coaching, a volunteer teachers meeting which usually takes place every Thursday was held where we reviewed the whole coaching and pinpointed areas where improvement is required.
We also use the opportunity to call upon teachers to start playing active roles and to be involved in activities and campaign of the ERC for increased funding of public education. The coaching closed by 1:00pm to be resumed next day.

The coaching has attained progressive recognition within the community by mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers who on their have come to verify whether the exercise is true or not. The number of students has continued to increase and is between the range of 200 to 270, while the volunteer teachers were also in the bracket of 12 to 16. For instance at today’s coaching, the number of students was 215 in the three arms of SS I to SS III.

The volunteer teachers have also been very active and committed to teaching the various subjects. Parents within the community on their visitation to the coaching today were full of praises for the ERC.

As part of the coaching exercise, the career counseling section has continued to take place every Friday. Today’s career talk is on “BOOKS TELL OUR STORIES.”  The speakers invited for the discussion came to share their experiences about the role of books in our life were Uche Nwadinachi (an author/teacher), Oladere Nurudeen (graduate of OAU) and Fidel Davynovich (a writer).

The speakers all spoke about why books should be cherished and seen as something valuable to read. One of the speakers pointed out that a library is very essential in the Ajegunle community and the need why the government should build one with various kinds of books for people to come and read; and also do their research there without any restriction. Also, other speakers encouraged the students to take their studies seriously.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012


2nd Week Started on an Interesting Note
By Davinovich

This is the second day on the week two of the ERC free holiday coaching organized for students in the Ajegunle environ for this third term holiday in order to actively engage them with academic activities.

Today’s exercise recorded one of the highest attendance figures so far in the coaching. Students in attendance were 247 while teachers were 12 in number. The reason for this is because many of the students have continued to pass across information of the ERC free holiday to their friends, brothers and sisters in the ghetto community of Ajegunle.

As a matter of fact, two persons from within the community came to verify whether such a free coaching was true or not. One of them named Gwawoh O. Robert (a graduate of Ambrose Ali University (AAU) said that when his younger brother who attends the coaching told him that it is “free” he was surprised and for this reason he decided to come down to see for himself.

Convinced that it was true, Mr. Robert has resolved to start teaching accounting at the coaching as a volunteer teacher. This is an inspiring addition to our dedicated team of volunteer teachers.

Before rounding up today, the Coaching coordinator in a brief statement urged the students to always be punctual and also take their studies very seriously in order to have a better future.

ONE WEEK OF ERC’S FREE SUMMER COACHING FOR THE YEAR 2012 …Free education is a right, not privilege!

Moshood Oshunfurewa
The free holiday coaching going on in Ajegunle for students of Senior Secondary school in Anglican Primary School, located at Arumoh Street via Boundary Road is just one among the many activities of the Education Rights Campaign (ERC) – a campaign platform of the Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM) - to campaign for adequate funding especially of basic primary and secondary education.

The free coaching is an annual program that has been sustained in Ajegunle branch of the organization since its commencement in 2004 and the program has been impacting positively on the life of children of artisans, unemployed parents and the poor working people of Ajegunle.

It is an obvious fact that the usual phenomenon of hardship that characterizes the day to day life of students from poor working class background is not only peculiar to the slum city of Ajegunle in Nigeria. Students from poor backgrounds often have to engage in selling of “pure” water (sachet water), soft drinks, credit unit cards etc. on highways aside other forms of menial activities during the long holiday so as to earn a penny to sustain their families during this period which make them exposed to untimely death, casual sex, rape and other forms of social menace.

This condition of poor working class youth is not unconnected to the pro-rich capitalist system which in its blind pursuit of profit places no value on the lives and future of young people. Instead of using Nigeria’s resources to fund education adequately, all government does is looting and lip-service. As a result, education remains enmeshed in age-old crisis: overcrowded classes, absurd teacher students ratio, lack of toilet facilities and playing ground, dilapidated infrastructures as well as chronic under funding of education, lack of better teachers welfare packages. Once it rains in some schools, the next thing is compulsory holiday for the students and teachers because of leaking classroom roofs and flood.

For instance, a young student of about 9 years old came to the venue of the coaching while returning from hawking of “pure” water, asked several intelligent questions regarding the coaching class. He would only be able to join the coaching next week (week two) as, according to him, he has to earn his daily bread first! The details of the boy’s questions show genuine love to learn but the colossal failure of government at all levels to provide free, quality and compulsory education and anti-poor neo-liberal policies of the Nigeria capitalist class means the chance of this young boy and many others like him to get educated is at best precarious.


The planning and mobilization for this year’s free summer coaching has so far been successful. There has been large turn-out of students. More and more students from Apapa, Orile, Wilmer, Amukoko and other Ajegunle environs are trouping in for the lesson.

Two thousand copies of flyers were produced and circulated among the students and parents in the communities by members of the Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM) / Education Rights Campaign (ERC) and students who are contacts in their respective schools. The colourful and attractive banner displayed at the entrance of the lesson also help to draw attention of passerby parents and students to the lesson.

Early data shows average attendance per day to be 68 for SSS 1, 56 for SSS 2 and 58 for SSS 3. This makes a total of an average of 182 students per day in the first week of the commencement of the coaching since August 6th, 2012.  This shows tremendous progress as it surpasses last year’s attendance by 18.95%. This is significant given the fact in the past one week many students were unable to attend the coaching class because they had to go to their respective schools to collect their examination results.

Last Friday, there was a career and counseling talk with Hassan Taiwo Soweto (ERC National Coordinator) and comrade Davinovich speaking on ‘Youth and Education’. We also had our first Volunteer Teachers’ meeting on Saturday. The teacher’s meeting is a democratic assembly of teachers and members of the DSM/ERC. It takes place every week and allows teachers to be involved in discussions on how to organize and improve the coaching.

The free holiday coaching started about eight years ago. The beauty of this year’s edition of the coaching is that four of the students who are beneficiaries of the past free summer coaching are assisting as teachers: Mr Emma, an undergraduate of mathematics in Lagos State Universities (LASU), Mr Nduka Ebube, an undergraduate student of chemistry in Imo State University (IMSU) and Mr kolawole Paul and Innocent are prospective candidates at the respective universities of their choice. Many of the past volunteer teachers are also on ground for the year’s edition of the coaching.

Monday, 13 August 2012

ERC’s FREE HOLIDAY LESSON 2012: A Participant’s View

By Ocho Simon
Secondary School student and member of the Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM), Ajegunle

In Ajegunle community of Lagos State, the Education Rights Campaign (ERC)- a fighting organization that always without compromise campaign for free, quality education for every citizen of the country - has deemed it fit to continue the campaign in the rank and file of the poor people for adequate funding of education by organizing this year’s edition of ‘Free summer coaching’. 

Available statistics from the United Nation Development Program (UNDP) shows that Nigeria has literacy rate of just 66.6%, while UNESCO in their report also state that any developing country/nation should budget at least 26% for education. The reason for this is that education is the brain behind any country’s development and civilization. Education helps to empower the human mind to explore the material benefit of this world; but in the case of Nigeria education only a back-cover page without any content.

Ajegunle – a community of poor working class people and unemployed – proves the case for adequate education funding. Many parents are unable to meet the basic needs of their children including the ability to pay for the cost of coaching during the annual summer holiday for school children.

As part of activities to identify with daily struggle of the working people in the community and promote their interest, this organization has been consistently every year organized free coaching summer lesson usually organized for students of SS I to SS III from within Ajegunle and its environ.

Within the ten weeks or more of the holiday, the ERC free summer coaching will take place for about six to eight weeks to intellectually keep students busy with this initiative in the community by engaging them with learning academically, socially for the benefit of enriching their life experiences in every fields of life. Also, subjects like Art, Science, and Commercial are taken to keep the students properly informed consciously.

Since its inception, the ERC’s free summer lesson has always been applauded success by the vast majority of the people living this community called ghetto. The 2011 recorded a huge plus where parents came to testify to the great work of the ERC in keeping their sons and daughters engaged by telling the importance of education and what basically education can do in human life both in thinking and learning.

During the 2011 free holiday lesson, there was career and counseling which held every Friday and where topics were taken that covers education, life, youth, crime and society etc in order to enhance students’ experiences by bringing them to lime-light of enlightenment; and make them see motives of why education shouldn’t be do-away-thing in their career and life in the future.

In this 2012 school vacation for students in the month of August to September, the ERC is repeating the same exercise by organizing the free coaching holiday lesson starting from August 6th in one of the primary school named ANGLICAN PRIMARY SCHOOL in the Ajegunle ghetto community. And the time of the lesson is 9am-1pm Monday to Friday. The free holiday lesson is part of the activities of ERC to campaign for free and functional education

Thursday, 9 August 2012


The Education Rights Campaign (ERC) – a campaign platform of the Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM) which fights for free and functional education – has started this year’s edition of its annual summer coaching for secondary school students in Ajegunle community of Lagos State. It will last for almost 8 weeks.

The free summer coaching, which is held daily from 9am to 1pm at the Anglican primary School Ajegunle, started on August 6th, 2012 with 82 students. On the first day, subjects like Mathematics, English Language, Government and commerce were taught. The coaching ended on the first day with an orientation class by Dagga Tolar (DSM E.C member and editor of the Socialist Democracy) where he spoke about the essence of education and reading.

By the second day, there was noticeable increase in the number of students and volunteer teachers in attendance. The number of students in SSS 1 was 31, SSS 2 was 55 and SSS 3 was 61 all totaling 121 students.

The summer coaching which has been organized annually over the past years provides opportunity for poor secondary school children in the working class slum of Ajegunle to study during the annual long vacation. Last year, over 200 students attended the coaching with the participation of a total of 25 volunteer teachers.

It is part of the campaign program of the ERC to highlight the condition of the poor in Ajegunle and such poor communities across the country who cannot afford the cost of quality education. The coaching during long vacation is extremely vital for many students preparing for entrance examinations into higher institutions especially against the background of the collapse in the quality and standard of education in both public and private schools.

This years’ edition has started with a renewed commitment from members of the DSM/ERC, volunteer teachers and former students to ensure the sustenance of the coaching. Most of the teachers, who are readily eager to give back to their community, are graduates of different universities degree holders teaching in neighboring private schools, public schools and Lagos state EKO project.

We also have students that have benefitted from past editions of the free holiday coaching coming around to lend some help. These students aid in tutoring some subjects and assisting in keeping the coaching premises orderly. 

The free holiday coaching has been one among many of the activities of the organization to support and fight for the vast less privileged residents in the community and this has increased the profile of ERC

Four subjects are taken per day as teachers ensure that the classes are interactive and use five to thirteen examples to make it easy for students to understand the topic being taught. Not only is the curriculum very flexible to accommodate initiatives, students and the volunteer teachers are involved in daily meetings and discussions on how to best improve the coaching.

Just like previous years, the summer coaching will play host to some events like career and counseling talks every Friday, drama, poetry, public meetings and a symposium at the end. Mock examinations will also be organized with prizes given to the three best students from the various classes. With the zeal and commitment shown in the first few days from both members of the DSM/ERC as well as volunteer teachers, this year’s free summer coaching promises to be as exciting and successful as last year, if not more.

Moshood Oshunfunrewa