8th December, 2010
A group, Education Rights Campaign, ERC, has urged the Federal and state governmentsÂ to immediately comply with the recentÂ judgment of the ECOWAS Community Court ofÂ Justice which ruled that every Nigerian child is entitled to free and compulsoryÂ education.
In a press statement signed by the groupâ€™s National Coordinator, ERC expressed theirÂ pleasure to the historic judgment of the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice in AbujaÂ which ordered the Nigerian government to provide as of right, free and compulsoryÂ education to every Nigerian child and the right of people to their wealth andÂ natural resources and to economic and social development as provided in Articles 1,Â 2, 17, 21, and 22 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights.
â€œThis ground-breaking judgment is a victory to all living and dead martyrs of theÂ Nigerian student movement, some of whom lost their lives, faced suspension andÂ expulsion, some of whom were even detained and saw the insides of prison walls inÂ the tumultuous struggle of Nigerian students over the decades against governmentÂ neo-liberal and anti-poor policies of education commercialisation and under fundingÂ and for provision of a free and functional education at all levels.â€ ERC said.
The group identified that Nigeria has more than enough resources to provide free andÂ functional education at all levels but the only obstacle is the anti-poor capitalistÂ philosophy which the Nigerian ruling class and political office holders at federal,Â state and local levels of governance have adopted as the only possible way toÂ organise society.
â€œIn most tertiary institutions in Nigeria today, students and poor working classÂ parents are finding it hard to cope with rising cost of fees for accommodation,Â feeding and sustenance in general and in the last five years, fees in tertiaryÂ institutions have been increased by more than 700 per cent against a background ofÂ falling standard of living and financial incapability of most working class parentsÂ to provide three square meals for their family,â€ the statement read.