The Academic Staff Union Of Universities (ASUU) is observing one of its yearly strikes, and most students have had to move back to their homes as all academic activities have been suspended indefinitely.
While some students are sad and feel like they have to spend longer time in completing their courses there by delaying some of their plans, others are very glad because they will have more time to focus on some things that school had hindered them from.
In a video that went viral some weeks back, a young lady expressed her happiness at the strike and how it has given her more time to focus on learning the photography skill she signed up for.
According to her: “I have things to do, I’m doing photography and I’m trying to relax because school is just taking up all my time” She went further to state that Nigerian students, including the government themselves are not serious with school.
The young lady stated that students just have to find something that works for them, and school wasn’t it.
Can we invariably say that she has lost faith in the school system?
In an interview with Channel Television some months back, President Muhammadu Buhari blatantly told the Nigerian youth that education is not an automatic ticket to Government jobs.
“I wish when they go to school; when they work hard; when they earn their degree, they don’t do it thinking that government must give them jobs,” the President stated.
He went further to state that, “You get educated because an educated person is certainly better than an uneducated person even in identifying personal problems. So, education is not just meant to hang on to the government to give you jobs and then what the colonialists indoctrinated in us to believe – have a car, have a house; start work by 8:00 am and close by 2 pm.”
The truth is that there’s no guarantee of a job after graduation. Unless you have strong connections; you have to fight day and night to make ends meet. This is our reality.
Now, I can not totally say that this strike is good news because it has also affected my education. We signed out a month ago with hopes of wrapping up our project, getting cleared by the school authority, graduate and prepare for service.
That is not going to happen now as there is no end in sight to the strike. A programme that is supposed to take four years to complete some times extends to five or more because federal Government and the Union have not been able to come to an agreement.
Here’s my advice to my fellow Nigerian youths. Some of us might already know this, but now is not the time to grumble and complain about the crippled educational system of the country; that is not news anymore.
I’d rather we see this as an opportunity to develop on ourselves. If you have a skill, now is the time to go back to your work bench and continue developing yourself. If you do not, it is time to find one that interests you. Just like the UNILAG student, it could be photography. It could be hairdressing, shoe making, tailoring or fashion designing, furniture making or baking.
It could even be some digital skills like copywriting, Web designing, graphics designing etc. These are skills that will surely put money in your bank. Even when you get a job, having these as side business is a wonderful idea.
There are several platforms online that offers free and paid training for these things. Use Google, do your own research. Don’t spend all of this break on Netflix and Chilling.
It is safe to say that not everyone will get a glorified job waiting after graduation, so this is the time to develop yourself, create money making avenues, build great connections and make yourself employable.
As much as Asuu’s strike is bad, causing so much delay and messing up life plans, it is also a good opportunity. Make good use of every opportunity you have outside the classroom.