House of Representatives have received memorandum on the Student Bill of Rights (SBOR), bill that caters for well-being on Nigerian campuses.
SBOR, prepared and submitted by HELP Foundation for Students, was on December 9, 2020 addressed to Constitution Review Committee of the Federal House of Representatives headed by Rt. Hon. Ahmed Wase.
This was contained in a statement jointly signed by HELP founders Mr. Olympus Ade-Banjo, Dr. Ayotunde Omole and Mr. Oluwadamilare Bajela, after the office of the Deputy Speaker issued a public announcement on the 17th of November, 2020, 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 further added, “Over the past couple of years, we’ve held forums with students and conducted surveys, compared scenarios with ideal places in the world and we 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 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.
“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.”
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