Posted by Mayowa Okekale, Ibadan | 23 August 2013 | 6,372 times
Academic activities have been paralysed in Nigeria’s public universities since the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) embarked on an industrial action on July 1 in a bid to force the Federal Government to implement the 2009 agreement signed by both parties. While both parties continue to drag the dispute, innocent students are forced to bear the brunt. News Express spoke with a cross section of students, many of whom lamented the effects of the strike even as others revealed how they are trying to make the best of a bad situation.
Martin Emeka Ekweme: I strongly believe that many Nigerian students see reading as being too herculean for them. To students like that, the strike is an opportunity to forget their books and pursue debased frivolities at their respective homes, even without reservations.
However, I have no doubt that some other students see the strike as an opportunity to engage in practical studies outside the school, since many public universities lack the facilities. What is crystal clear is, students who decide to be idle are, by every means, looking for the Devil’s trouble.
Balogun Tosin Temitope: This development is not really affecting me because I have been making the best use of the free time to learn new skills and develop myself. For example, I just finished an interesting training on bicycle riding. I hope to move to swimming. I encourage others to do likewise and stop blaming either the ASUU or the Federal Government.
Adenekan Ola: A bird that never forgets its flock mates will never miss the way. This is really a development that has actually given an ample avenue for me to study more than before. Nevertheless, I still pray that God should intervene between the two parties involved and bring everything back to normalcy so as to restore the glory of our education system.
Janet Olabisi: So many unserious students count this as an opportunity for them to enjoy their youthful time the more. Meanwhile, the serious ones will see it as an avenue to read and conduct further research before returning to school. Nevertheless, some have-not students would view this as an occasion to engage themselves in making money to fend for themselves so as to ease the burden on their parents.
Kingsley Davies Cassie: We are doing nothing presently and this will affect the graduating students and will further affect their NYSC posting. Seriously speaking, I’m tired of the sickening strikes constantly embarked on by ASUU! This is not fair on Nigerian students. When students are left doing nothing, chances are that some of them engage in unsightly acts that are not healthy for the country. I think ASUU should embrace patriotism for the general interest of Nigerian students.
Olawore Samuel: “An idle hand is the devil’s workshop,” says a famous quote. This quote is just a verisimilitude of what is reflecting on many undergraduates who are found roaming the streets and, as a result, being lured into social vices not because it pleases them to do so but because they have nothing to keep themselves busy on campus, due to the ongoing industrial action embarked upon by ASUU.
One of the sad consequences of the strike is the painful death of Ruth, a 100 level student of the Department of Biochemistry, University of Ibadan, in a ghastly motor accident on her way back to her home town after students was forced to evacuate their various halls of residence.
Oke Omolade Helen: I’ll regard it as utter mediocrity to say that the on-going ASUU strike has no negative effect on the Nigerian students. The idle hand, as we all know, is the Devil’s workshop, and I hope ASUU has not made Nigerian students the Devil’s tool.
Though ASUU is fighting the right cause, is it not aware or bothered about the precious time of the student it is wasting? Time wasted is life wasted and once time is lost, it cannot be recovered. This strike is a direct or indirect means of killing students whose schooling is directly affected by it; it also makes the affected students feel inferior to students whose parents can afford private schools that never go on strike. It is equally an easy way of getting students distracted as most of them would be at a very high risk of immorality when they are supposed to be studying. Let all students be aware of these negative possibilities and make the best use of this unwanted holiday.
Muyiwa Oyelaran: ASUU strike is not helping at all as it lenghtens the duration of our course of study. As a matter of fact, it has made us lose all we have learnt in school. This is terrible.
Busayo Olanipekun: With this action in view, I can practically say the future of our youths is at stake, and it is really about time we called on God to intervene because our government doesn’t care about our future. The reason why we are exposed to this is because their children are not suffering from the same action.
Gabriel Ajuwon: The ASUU strike denotes a very bad omen for Nigeria’s education sector. But, personally, since its commencement, I have engaged myself in holiday job, which I have been able to engage in to make up for every lost time. The most unfortunate aspect of it is, enthusiasm for reading was lost since when I heard of the strike, even when our examination was supposed to be around the corner.
Oluleke Peter: The increasing flash-points in the education sector have reached an unsustainable level and before the irretrievable point of escalation is reached, we have a duty to sound a collective alarm as to the negative externality posed on millions of students.
The industrial action embarked on by ASUU negatively affects Nigerian students psychologically, academically and socially. Students no longer graduate as scheduled; interest and concentration are lost, resulting to poor and average performances; academic calender is being compressed and part of the curriculum skipped. All these, among other effects, tend to be inimical to quality education, human development and economic growth in Nigeria. Education, as we all know, is the bedrock of modern civilisation.
Dare Adelere: The irony of the strike is, we students are the victims. I believe that if the strike unfortunately spans a year, it is obvious that all ASUU officials, including the lecturers, will be paid, even while they have not taught students for the wasted months of downing tools. We are ultimately being badly affected. For the last two months, they earned their salary and no students could stop that. I am of the view that neither the government nor the ASUU really serves the desired interests of the Nigerian students.
•Photo shows Education Minister, Prof. Ruqayyatu Rufa’i.
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