HELP Foundation, a Non-governmental Organisation, has proposed the Student Bill of Rights (SBOR), a bill aimed at catering for the rights and well-being of students on Nigerian campuses.
The group, in a statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES on Tuesday, said it prepared and submitted the bill on December 9, addressing it to the Constitution Review Committee of the Federal House of Representatives headed by Ahmed Wase.
The statement was jointly signed by HELP founders; Olympus Ade-Banjo, Ayotunde Omole and Oluwadamilare Bajela.
The group also noted that the memorandum followed a call from the office of the Deputy Speaker, requesting memoranda of recommendations from civil society organizations to alter the 1999 Nigerian Constitution (as amended).
According to HELP, the proposed draft of the Nigeria Student Bill of Rights recommends the alteration of the fourth section of the 1999 Nigeria’s Constitution to reflect an accessible, inclusive and quality education as a fundamental human right for all citizens of Nigeria.
“The bill also seeks adoption of the Nigeria Student Bill of Rights (SBOR) as a means of ensuring quality higher education services delivery to all Nigerians. The SBOR is presented as: A BILL FOR AN ACT TO DECLARE AND PROTECT THE RIGHTS AND SAFETY OF STUDENTS IN HIGHER INSTITUTIONS OF LEARNING, PROMOTE CAMPUS ETHICS, AND OTHER MATTERS INCIDENTAL THERETO, 2020,” the statement read.
The group said it had held forums with students and conducted surveys, compared scenarios with ideal places in the world and concluded that the first step in fixing Nigeria’s higher education (many) problems is to first ensure that it is student-centred.
“… that is, directing its aims at and ensuring that students are recognized as the most crucial stakeholders in the education business and hence be protected as a vulnerable demographic as well as satisfied as rightful customers of the education services.
“The Nigeria Student Bill of Rights (SBOR) 2020, is the first action in our Higher Education Sustainable Transformation Agenda in West Africa. It is the bedrock for all other reformative ideas relevant to the sector.
“Furthermore, bills of student rights are a global phenomenon and have been operational at various levels in a growing number of places around the world including Romania which is considered to have the most robust provision and protection for students in the world.
“Our vision, as an organization that seek(s) the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals in Nigeria, is to see Nigeria compete with Romania and the rest of the world as the country with the safest, most ethics-based, engaging and empowering higher education services in the world.
“We commend all our members and student community who have spearheaded the Human Rights Day campaign we held with respect to the SBOR using the hashtag #ProtectOurStudents on social media and physical awareness programs across many campuses in the country. We appreciate the media houses that have covered our events so far on this project.”
Meanwhile, it beckoned on well-meaning Nigerians to join in the demand for reforms in Nigeria’s higher education system as it follows the Nigeria Student Bill of Rights (SBOR) 2020 into the necessary legislative processes.
PREMIUM TIMES had previously reported cases of rights violations in Nigeria campuses. Students Union bodies as well as student activists have been the target of the repression of students’ freedom of association and expression.
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: To advertise here . Call Willie +2347088095401...