Many years back, a treacherous threat on educational sector began. Without doubt, it has become a norm that yearly Nigerian universities witness delay caused by strikes. Strike is the policy that the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) employs to fight the Federal government or show their grievances whenever their acclaimed demands are not attended to by the government.
When the union strikes, Nigerian University students lose. Indeed it is a great loss. As the grass suffers when two elephants fight so do students suffer because lecturers of strike.
Students who are supposed to acquire qualitative and quantitative knowledge within a given period will be denied the grace as ASUU strike would have interrupted their academic calendar forcing them to spend more than the time scheduled for their programmes.
ASUU’s usual reason for strike is usually attributed to a lack of infrastructures to provide quality education in Nigerian universities. And the Federal government which is constitutionally responsible to provide the infrastructure turned deaf ears to their requests despite a series of negotiations.
Recently, ASUU President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, advised Federal Government against reopening schools. He said our schools should remain closed till it is safe for students. He added that even if the government reopened schools, public universities may not resume due to the outstanding crisis between the Union and the Federal government. In essence, students attending federal universities should not hope to resumie post-COVID-19.
Over the years, the Federal government has been making promises to the Union. However, no administration has fulfilled its promises to the Union. But ASUU will not relent since that is the only language the government understands.
Sadly, incessant strikes are among the factors contributing to the relegation and devaluation of our education system. Not only does it devalue the system, it affects students who may get entangled in vices such as thuggery, robbery, or prostitution because “an idle hand is a devil workshop’. No doubt, if this strike continues, the future of this country will be at stake.
As a victim of ASUU strike, I would like to suggest the same everlasting solution raised by the representative of Kaba/Bunu/ijumu Federal Constituency, Honorable Tajudeen Yusuf – that there should be a parliamentary intervention on the issue of strike between the Federal Government and ASUU by having a public documented agreement which will serve as an evidence anytime the case may arise. So that aftermath, the masses can recognise the culprit between both parties. If the negotiations between the delegations of Federal Government and ASUU only continue without any legal or legislative hand, the menace of strike will continue as a dreadful disease to the development of our educational system.