Since Nigeria’s restoration to democracy in 1999, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has gone on strike 16 times, shutting down academic operations in public universities for more than 4 years in 23 years — enough time to finish a four-year degree program.

ASUU embarked on a 9-month strike in 2020, the longest since 1999, and then went on a 4-week warning strike on February 14, 2022, before declaring another eight weeks, saying that it was giving “the government more time to listen to its need.”

It announced an extension of eight weeks after the expiration. The union has now declared a 12-week strike extension, which would begin on Monday, May 9th, 2022.

Because of the frequent strikes, most students are forced to venture into town in search of stipends. When classes restart after the strike, this condition makes instruction less exciting and puts them in a hard spot. Aside from the rising number of school dropouts, many Nigerians have lost faith in the country’s educational system. Parents who can afford it are sending their children abroad for school, while those who cannot afford it enroll their children in privately run universities in the country. Nigerians desiring great education should choose neighboring African countries such as Ghana, Uganda, and Benin Republic, which were previously not on par with Nigeria in terms of basic education.

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Students who go on strike spend more time in school than is required by law. This has an impact on the employment pattern, as age is an important factor in entry-level jobs. The ongoing ASUU strikes have contributed to an increase in youth crime and immorality. The proverb “an idle hand is the devil’s workshop” aptly describes the activities of some youth when schools are closed. A lack of vision and mission causes a small group of youth to wander aimlessly. As a result, they engage in a variety of illegal activities such as cybercrime, gambling, fraudulent acts, and so on.

The conclusion on the attendance of federal and state-owned universities is troubling from north to south. Everyone believes that the majority of students attending these institutions are children of lower-income families. Aside from the effects of lengthy academic interruptions, the quality of education provided to students is far from commendable. Regular strikes deplete academic time from school calendars, and upon resumption, academics tend to rush academic work, potentially omitting important course work. Finally, this has an impact on the student’s intellectual capacity.

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The country cannot progress under the current system, in which ASUU strikes continue to harm the Nigerian educational sector and endanger the future of Nigerian youth. It’s time to get to the bottom of this and end this chapter.

Academic staff at Nigerian universities should consider other viable forms of protest besides strike actions. Because of the enormous damage they cause to our educational system, industrial actions should only be used as a last resort. ASUU and the federal government should always communicate openly, with each party eager to understand the other and willing to prioritize national interests over “ego” and short-term political considerations.
The country’s economic situation clearly cannot support a “almost no-pay system” in government-owned universities. However, a system that facilitates this payment process should be implemented with quality education as the top priority.

I believe it is past time for the Nigerian government to prioritize education; they must recognize that in order for us to have a bright future as a nation, we must educate our youths; not just educate them, but provide them with the best education possible.

The youth of Nigeria deserve better!

About honeyloaded 11641 Articles
Oyinloye James Popularly Known as Mzta Honey, is a Nigerian Blogger, Promoter, Brand Influencer, Social Media Manager That Specialize in Hype and Promote Talents

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