We call on students, parents and workers to resist with protracted mass actions
The Education Rights Campaign (ERC) strongly condemns the directive by the management of the Federal Polytechnic Bida (FPB), Niger state that fresh students of the polytechnic should pay the sum of N10, 000 for acceptance fee. This translates to a 100 percent hike from the N5, 000 which used to be the maximum levy for acceptance. The authorities also asked all students to pay a sum of N500 as “religion due”. We demand the immediate reversal of the acceptance fee and outright cancellation of “religion due”.
We condemn the fee increment as an attempt to commercialize and price education out of the reach of children of the poor and average working class masses. It is all the more disturbing that despite the change mantra, the policy of fee hike and education commercialization continues.
This directive by the polytechnic’s management is absolutely unacceptable as the new students chose federal polytechnics Bida as their first choice institution when registering for the unified tertiary matriculation examination (UTME) and sat for the post UTME in September, 2015 on the basis of the old fee of N5, 000. It is therefore unjust and callous to ask the new students to pay the outrageous acceptance fee after they have been offered admission. The Education Rights Campaign (ERC) calls on the Students’ Union of the Polytechnic to resist the increment with a series of mass actions. Together with demanding reversal of the hiked fee, students should demand proper funding of education and democratic management of schools.
The fees students have been paying in the past have not reflected in any real improvement. Presently the Federal Polytechnic Bida is characterized by overcrowded classrooms, inadequate lecture halls, ill-equipped laboratories and libraries, inadequate teaching and non teaching staff, lack of transportation facilities, poor sport facilities, and poor ICT service among others.
We call on all working class parents and FPB staff unions (ASUP, SANNIP, and NASU) who are already overburdened by the anti poor policies of the government to openly declare their support for the students against the fee hike. We also call on fresh students and their parents to reject the imposition of these obnoxious fees by the polytechnics Management and join in the struggle for the reversal of the fee increment.
(1) No to fee increment in FPB. Reverse the N10, 000 fee and cancel the “religion due” of N500.
(2) Increase in the budgetary allocation up to UNESCO recommendation 26%.
(3) Provision of adequate facilities for quality education and enabling learning environment.
(4) For an independent and democratic students unionism without interference from the management or government.
(5) Democratic running of the polytechnic with involvement of the elected representatives of education workers and students in all the decision-making bodies.
ERC Bida Polytechnic Chapter