The Academic Staff Union of Universities(ASUU) announced on April 7, after a Zonal meeting in Cross River State that, the entire public universities would continue to remain shut until the right things are done to show guarantee quality of learning as well as the welfare of workers and entire public universities students.
This statement came as an affirmation to students that ASUU has no intentions to end the strike which began on the 14th of February, 2022, until the Federal Government attends to all outstanding issues.
Students, however, have taken up the initiatives to learn some trades that can keep them busy till the strike is called off. A student of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, FUNNAB, Akintade Taiwo, a 300 level of Aquaculture and Fisheries Management, said after the strike was extended from the first phase, he took it upon himself to learn photography and will soon venture into technical skills once his laptop arrives.
He said: “After the first extension of the strike, being a Nigerian student with past experiences of the ASUU strike, I knew it was not going to end so soon. So, immediately I got home, I went to register myself in a photo studio. I would have loved to face technical skills but I don’t have a laptop yet”.
“I have always had the zeal to learn photography but I never had the chance. So, I saw this as an opportunity. Also, it serves as a means of not staying idle because if school education doesn’t work out, I will have this as a side hustle”, Taiwo added. Speaking of the Nigerian educational system, Taiwo said the system has failed them badly and can practically lure idle students to bad things. Taiwo, who also noted that the job of a photographer is full of fun, said he can’t wait to resume. He said: “I really can’t wait to resume school.
There is a special joy when one bags a certificate at the predicted time. Learning of trades should come during holidays and not because of ASUU strike”. Osaro Gideon, a 400level student of Geophysics at the Ekiti State University, said he has begun learning Air Conditioning repairs and installation. Gideon, during an interview, was quick to note that the Nigerian educational system is really poor and he would have considered not going back to school if he wasn’t in his final year.
He said: “The Nigerian educational system is really poor and has proved multiple times that they have no plans for students in the country. If I was a 100 level student, I would have packed my luggages and stayed back at home learning my trade even after the strike ends”. Stating the negative impacts of the strike, Gideon said that students now spend 7 to 8 years for a program of four years in the university, practically leading to late marriages for some students.
Gideon said he is enjoying the trade learning process and any more extension to the strike will only make him a master of the job he is learning. Another Student of a Federal University Oye Ekiti, Ajayi Gabriel, a 300level in Industrial Chemistry, said he was into Data analysis partially before the strike, but is now fully into it.
Gabriel lamented bitterly about the treatment Nigerian students receive from the government and their nonchalant attitude towards the adverse effect it would have on students.
He said: “This is not the first or second strike I’ve experienced since my admission in 2018 and it’s always because of the same issue between ASUU and the government. I’ve spent 4 years studying for three sessions and if my calculations are right, I will end up spending six years in the university”.
“The government, during their elections always promise to take the educational sector seriously but it always turns out to be a lie, and for how long will this continue” he added. Gabriel also pleaded with the Federal Government to do all they can to help students resume as soon as they can.