It may seem like yesterday when the Academic Staff Union of Universities declared a total shutdown of universities across the country, but there is more to time than simply increasing its speed. What appeared to be a 4-week warning strike became a 6-month cruise when the Union announced a rollover on May 12.
Amidst uncertainties, some have moved on with life while others groan in pain.
In an interview, students from various institutions shared their experiences and how the strike has affected them.
Esther, a Biotechnology student in her penultimate year at Ekiti State University expressed a positive remark about the strike as being a blessing and a period to explore many opportunities.
“I sincerely have nothing to lose. All things work together for my good. I get to venture into business and try new things,” she said.
However, she noted that “The strike is really unfair to all Nigerian students and the annoying part is that we (students) are not given priority. And come to think about it, I feel all state universities should exclude themselves from ASUU, not with the huge fee students have to pay every session and still get delayed,” she said.
A 200 level student of Accounting at the same university, however, saw the seemingly long break as a waste of time and hopes that schools reopen on time. “I gained nothing during the strike,” Folz said.
“My name is Chika. I’m a student at Unizik, in the department of Mass Communication, 300 level. The strike has been so helpful in engaging in extracurricular activities. And I am able to do things outside of the four walls of the classroom. It’s time to call it quits,” said another student.
Tobiloba Samson, a year 3 student in the Department of Finance, Federal University Oye-Ekiti, has this to say: “The strike was an eye-opener to areas where I am lacking. I learnt skills and empowerment.”
Among those who explored money-making ventures during the strike is a 100-level student named Grace. She said, “I was able to learn a skill online and for the first time, I was able to make 50k in less than a week. Nonetheless, Asuu and FG should please come together in peace so that we can resume as soon as possible.”
Raphael, a Geography student of Ekiti State University, on the other hand, cried out that his career is being delayed and wondered why State Universities joined the industrial action.
“No important thing to gain because everything is just stagnant. The strike should be called off! Moreso, State Universities shouldn’t be partaking in strikes like this.”
“The strike is really unfair to all Nigerian students and the annoying part is that we (students) are not given priority. And come to think about it, I feel all state universities should exclude themselves from ASUU, not with the huge fee students have to pay every session and still get delayed,” she said.
Esther, Chika, Tobiloba, Grace and Raphael are part of the generation of youths who have experienced a customary sit-at-home order at one point or the other.
Since 1999, Nigerian universities have been closed and reopened incessantly as a result of the ASUU strike, which is claimed to be a struggle for Nigerian tertiary education and Nigerian students at large.
While the Federal Government continues to make promises to meet the demands of ASUU, the future of Nigerian students is nothing but a mirage and mere wishful thinking.
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