Just as schools are trying to get back on their feet fully after the disruption of the academic calendar caused by the COVID-19 lockdown, comes yet another one in the name of ASUU strike.
Academic staff union of universities popularly called ASUU embarked on yet again another strike for about two weeks now. This is due to the fact that the federal government failed to keep to their end of the bargain. That is, the government not paying salaries and not giving funds required for the proper upkeep of the tertiary institutions.
This industrial action now seems to be a yearly, if not biyearly occurrence as it looks like that is the language the government hears and hearkens to. It is mostly federal and state universities who are members of this association that are affected.
Now, we all know the actions of the striking members are justifiable but this comes with repercussions, especially to the educational sector of the country.
The affected schools are schools attended by majority of the masses. Thus, a large percentage of youths are affected by this strike. A student who goes to study a four-year course ends up graduating after six years, and this is not as a result of carry overs but ASUU strike. Not to talk of some courses that requires more than four years to earn the degree, it’s just so sad and frustrating.
We hear complains about half-baked graduates and this strike indirectly has a role to play in that aspect. They embark on strike suddenly and also call it off suddenly, leaving the schools no option but to rush the students to catch up with others. They teach students what they should learn in a space of months under two weeks without proper guidance. Are we to expect good results, I honestly doubt.
Also, the clock is ticking and these students are aging. Looking at recent job adverts for entry levels, there is always an age limit.
Some of these youths spend their early twenties in school unnecessarily, many thanks to ASUU. Thus, miss out on opportunities that would grow them and even the society on the long run.
The standard of the educational system is deteriorating daily and this strike just fuels it more. That is why there is an increase in youths leaving the country. They go in search for a better environment that won’t impede on their growth but lend a helping hand.
This is me saying we need a system that works. A system that would ensure swift payments and prioritise the nation’s educational system.
The dream should not be to leave the country but to build it, because no matter what, there is no place like home.