Whither Nigerian Students As ASUU Strike Lingers
Nigeria News examine the plights of Nigerian students under ASUU strike action.
Even when schools are in session with no strike in place, the quality of graduates from Nigerian universities has been a source of worry for most employers.
Employers find it difficult to fill vacant positions in the labour market due to the trainability of many of the university and polytechnic graduates being churned out by the year.
There is no doubt that some of them are extremely good but the large population of the students are affected by the quality of training they get while on campus.
Training tools are obsolete; curriculum is out-of-date; lecturers are frustrated. It will be an understatement to say that most universities in Nigeria lack the necessary facilities to produce world class graduates and despite this, the students have always given their all to get educated.
Some of these students, after their first degrees have jetted out of the country to emerge among the best brains in developed economy.
Records have shown across the world that Nigerian students are smart but down home, they lack the necessary tools to do exploit.
Sometime, the former Governor of Lagos State, who is now the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola said there was the need for the marriage of “Town and Gown”.
He wanted the educational institutions to come up with ideas to solve the problem in the public sector through researches and studies.
To him, Nigerian varsities must create a curriculum that will easily address the problem in the public system but it is unfortunate that today’s students use yesterday’s curriculum.
In 2009, the Academic Staff Union of Universities signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU with the Federal Government to redirect the academic activities of the citadel of learning in the country.
Some of the lecturers’ requests centred on improve research activities on campuses, academic staff salaries, provision of adequate facilities to make universities more attractive and strong enough to produce quality students.
Since the agreement was signed, the Federal Government has failed to implement it. Nigerian universities have continued to fall in standard and it is obvious with their positions in the ranking of varsities across the world.
At present, no Nigerian varsity is in the top 6, 000 around the world but some of their products who launch out for masters’ programme do well in their various discipline.
To force the government to respect the 2009 agreement, ASUU embarked on another indefinite strike two weeks ago.
The National President of the union, Professor Abiodun Ogunyemi told newsmen that it became necessary to go on strike to press home the grievances of the lecturers for the overall rescue of the falling university education.
Since the teachers embarked on strike, academic activities have paralysed, students are back home doing nothing while some have joined cults, and political thuggery.
This is not the first time ASUU will be going on strike and calling it off in the interest of the students, there are indications that the current industrial action may not end on time.
Investigation revealed that the meeting between the delegations of the Federal Government and the national executive of ASUU ended in deadlock twice within two weeks.
As a matter of fact, the government representatives were supposed to meet with ASUU on Tuesday, the lecturers shunned the meeting.
It was gathered that the government representatives, which included the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, his counterpart for Labour and Productivity, Dr. Chris Ngige and Minister of Finance Mrs. Kemi Adeosun were ready for the meeting but ASUU shunned them.
The ASUU President Professor Ogunyemi confided in our correspondent that the union would not attend any meeting with the government anymore until it is able to get the reply of a proposal sent to the government.
He said before now the union had written a proposal and submitted it to the government, waiting for reply but it has not received any reply.
In all these, the students are at the receiving end. They groan as the country’s university education suffers setback in the hands of the government and the lecturers.