Bills of rights of student have been described as a global phenomenon which 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.
A nonprofit foundation which stands to protect the students and Improve the quality of higher education by promoting global principal ethics, safety, dignity, and development in the delivery of higher education in West Africa, HELP Foundation for Students, asserted this in a memorandum submitted to the Nigeria House of Representatives.
Prior to a public announcement issued from the office of the Deputy Speaker earlier on the 17th of November, requesting memoranda of recommendations from civil society organizations to alter the 1999 Nigerian Constitution, a press release signed on Monday by the co-founders of the foundation, Olympus Ade-Banjo, Dr. Ayotunde Omole, and Oluwadamilare Bajela, started that the foundation, on Wednesday 9th of December 2020, submitted a memo to the Constitution Review Committee of the Federal House of Representatives headed by Rt. Hon. Ahmed Wase.
The statement read: “Alongside a copy of the proposed draft of the Nigeria Student Bill of Rights, our memorandum was contained in a letter recommending 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;
“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.”
Over the past couple of years, Help Foundation for Students held forums with students and conducted surveys, compared scenarios with ideal places in the world and thus concluded that the first step in fixing Nigeria’s higher education (many) problems is to first ensure that it is student-centred, “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,” It added.
Furthermore, the foundation added that the Nigeria Student Bill of Rights (SBOR) 2020, is the first action in its Higher Education Sustainable Transformation Agenda in West Africa, said “It is the bedrock for all other reformative ideas relevant to the sector.
“Our vision as an organization that seek 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.”
It therefore commended all 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.
“We also want to use this opportunity to beckon on on well-meaning civil society organizations, individuals and the media to join in the demand for reforms in Nigeria’s higher education system as we follow the Nigeria Student Bill of Rights (SBOR) 2020 into the necessary legislative processes going forward,” it stated.