By: Ajadi Sadiq
It’s no longer news that it’s been over 100 days since the Academic Staff Union of Universities(ASUU) embarked on an indefinite warning strike.
This is following the failure of the Federal government to bow to the wishes of ASUU on ways of payment, which has gotten most students from the University of Ibadan to lament, especially, those in their final year.
In past months, students from various federal universities have participated in physical protests, yet, the Federal government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities haven’t done anything to bring students back to their classrooms.
Earlier this week, this writer witness some lamentations and reactions of finalists from a different department at the University of Ibadan who lamented on how the strike has affected them, their careers, and the scholarships they had applied for.
UI Finalists Laments
In a conversation with Abedoh Aamanah Ibrahim a finalist from the department of Animal Science, University of Ibadan.
Aamanah lamented how she has applied for the MCcall scholarship and how the strike has been a hindrance. “I applied for the scholarship not too long ago, even if I get admitted I don’t know when the strike will end so I could get my degree and go for the scholarship,” she said.
Aamanah also talked about her age, and how it’s going to be a factor to be considered when searching for a job after school. “It’s also affecting my year of graduation, everybody always comes in with a considered time on their mind. But the Nigerian government has made Nigeria education something you don’t have to set time for because, at the end of the day, the time you thought will be added by years you can’t imagine”, she further said.
Okewole Charles, another finalist from the History department worries over the ongoing strike. According to him, “Earlier this year, within myself I already concluded that I will be done with my undergraduate studies by the end of this year but now it is no longer feasible”. As regards his project writing, ” I have started working on my project topic, but this strike is a big hindrance. Assuming I’m done, how I am going to submit it is another issue”.
When asked about what he’s currently engaged with, he replied, “Right now, am working as a part-time Teacher in a reputable School, imagine if I have my Degree, I would very much be in full-time basics employment and also in terms of moving forward with my plans. I intend to go for my master’s but the strike, has already changed my plans”.
When asked about the situation of the strike and how he has been coping, Abeeb Abioye, a finalist from the Department of Agronomy Salami said, ” It’s so sad that this has been a barrier for one to make a proper plan. With the way things are going, I realized it’s very important for one not to rely on the time they’ll conclude on our resumption and think of other things to do”.
Abeeb further talked about how he’s putting his course of study to practice by working on his own and on his parent’s farm, “I’ve been able to work on my parent’s farm and also the one I’ve acquired for myself as an agronomy student, if not for that this strike days would have been unproductive” he added.
“It’s prolonging my years of being an undergraduate. And Nigeria isn’t a place where a job is waiting for you as you finish University, which is bad cos after years of study one still has to go job seeking.” Olaitan a finalist in the Department of Anthropology, University of Ibadan lamented.
Regarding his project writing, he said, “I have not been able to start work on it. And my department is one where our workload is always hectic. So resuming, I’d just have to start the work on it when I have tests, exams, and fieldwork to focus on. So yeah, it’s a big concern”. ” And I can’t get my transcript which I need to be able to finish the admission process for my intended school abroad,” he added.
Abdul Qayyum Husseyn a 500L student of the Department of Crop Protection and Environmental Biology, speaks about how he had applied for a scholarship and had to wait until he acquired his University degree before he could proceed with the admission. “Yes, I applied for scholarships which many had to do with my degree before I could be admitted, and now here we are, my degree is with the decision of them(ASUU and FG) dangling until they wish to let me go,” he said.
” The ASUU strike has a detrimental effect on the education system, not scholarship application alone. The strike causes hindrance to the education race of students. Imagine spending 6 years on a 4-year course. It also delays your scholarship application because most scholarships need you to be a certified graduate.” he continued as he lamented how the strike has affected his applications.
In a WhatsApp conversation with Olawoore Zainab a 600 Level dentistry finalist at the University of Ibadan also catharsis on the effect of the ASUU strike on her year of graduation.
“This affected me being a medical student. No test, no classes, and other necessary examinations It’s only our Hospital posting that we are attending. We don’t even know when we’ll be writing our final year exam, this is my 8 year in a 6 years course.” Zainab said.
“if not for this strike we should have been done with our study and be getting paid as a medical, this is not the first strike that I’ll be affecting us, it has killed morale because whatever one wants to do you’ll realize something is holding you back. Sigh” Zainab lamented.
A Big Slap on Nigeria’s Educational System
If those who wanted the post could be concerned about education the way they currently crave to rule this nation, then, our educational system would have been better off, compared to this shambles we are currently in.
According to the Vanguard newspaper of Jan 2021 revealing the statistics of youth in Nigeria as of 2019, it exposed that out of 33.6 million youths in Nigeria only 1.8 million attend a tertiary institution.
Many have lost interest in the educational system of Nigeria and believe they will succeed regardless of their degrees. Involvement of the Nigerian youths in various skills and jobs outside without the need for a degree is a testament to this.