ASUU Strike Turns Idle Students To Campaign Materials
Nigeria News takes a look at the turn of events as ASUU strike lingers.
The Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Osun State does not fully comply with the strike action of the Academic Staff Union of Universities.
The institution, believed to be one of the best in the country but with records of activism is currently conducting the semester examination for its students despite the ongoing ASUU strike.
The OAU students are happy, their parents are equally happy even though there is agitation by the lecturers of Nigerian universities over the failure of the Federal Government to pay their salaries and other welfare packages. The University of Ilorin does not join in the strike.
The private universities in the country are in session. Their students, many of whom are children of politicians and the well-to-do in the society are enjoying steady academic activities.
That is the summary of the position of university education in our country. It is poor education for poor people.
The children of the poor are the one to be worried because they are the one that enrolled in public varsities and suffer whenever the lecturers and government are at loggerheads.
It is quite unfortunate that the government, despite the series of meetings with ASUU’s executive led by Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, has failed to redeem the Memorandum of Understanding signed with the teachers a few years ago.
About two weeks ago, the government through the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige said that it had released about N54 billion to pay the salary arrears of the teachers and that by last Thursday ASUU would have called off its strike.
It is about eight weeks now that the lecturers stopped working, the students are roaming the streets. This is dangerous as it is happening during the election season. Many of these idle students are being used as political thugs.
They have been integrated into the campaign trains of politicians, moving from one political rally to another as hooligans and instrument of disorderliness in the society.
The notorious among the students are busy now. Their lecturers are busier in that some of them have enrolled for part-time job in some of the private universities as ASUU’s strike persists.
The strike may continue, who cares. Only the poor and serious minded students and their parents, most of them pensioners and low income earners are feeling the pain the most.
Their prayer is for their wards to graduate quickly, get good job and become the breadwinner of the family.
The academic calendar has been thwarted severally, except in private institutions, most of which are faith-based with outrageous tuition.
And despite the high tuition, only a few of these private varsities, with the special mention of the Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State have been ranked among the best 10 institutions in the country.
Interestingly, the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board has rolled out forms for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination. Millions of candidates began registration as at January 11.They want university education, even when they know that the system is not working.
With the ongoing strike, not only is the fate of the undergraduate students hanging, those seeking admission are in serious dilemma. The future of an average Nigerian youth who wants varsity education looks so bleak.