Activities at the office of the Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, were yesterday paralyzed by students of Lagos State University External System, LASUES, over alleged fraudulent practices by the school authorities and mass failure by the students
This came barely a month after Fashola reversed the tuition fee for the students to N25,000. However, the external system students were excluded from the fees cut.
The students defied the scorching sun to storm Alausa secretariat office of the governor at about 10.00 am and barricaded the entrance, demanding that Governor Fashola meet their demands before they would vacate the premises.
Vehicles that approached the governor’s office during the period were forced to turn back.
The students, who were armed with placards, some of which read: ‘APC government has failed us’; ‘Lack of proper academic calendar, missing scripts and withheld results, increment in tuition and poor management, Fashola please save us’.
The students said in three years, LASUES had only conducted three examinations which the protesters said was not in tune with global practices in education.
According to them, “students who gained admission into the system in 2008/2009 are still in 500 level, first semester when their five-year academic studies should have ended in 2012.
“Also, thousands of 2009/2010 and 2010/2011 set do not have admission letters but they pay their tuition fees yearly.
“Thousands of LASUES students pay for their identity cards yearly but they are not given. We have written several letters to the Vice Chancellor, Professor John Obafunwa and the Director of LASUES, Professor Abanikanda but they have turned deaf ears to our complains.’’
The students in addition demanded reduction in tuition fee from N68,700 to N38,700 for 500 level, and N75,700 to N45,700 for students in 400 level and N95,700 to N65,700 for those in 300 level.
According to them, less than five per cent of the cumulative 40,000 students record passes each time they sit for examinations.
Speaking on behalf of the students, Mr. Abolaji Azeez, the Speaker of the Student Representatives Council, LASUES, lamented that over seven of his courses were still missing, noting: “I do not have identity card to show that I am a student of the institution. And I pay yearly for the issuance of the card.”
Another student, Miss Omobolanle Bakare, a 500 level student, said: “I am yet to see my 100 level result despite paying N110,000 as tuition. It is annoying that four years after, the school could not say where my results are. So, I cannot calculate my Cumulative Grade Point Average, CGPA.”
Mr. Justice Okosun said: “It is only in LASU that one writes exams without knowing the lecturer which is abnormal.”
Efforts by the Special Assistant to the Governor on Youths and Students Affairs, Mr. Hakeem Animashaun to pacify the protesting students proved abortive as they demanded to speak with the governor.