They Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has been engaged in long lasting disagreements with the Nigerian Government over issues of withholding salaries and poor funding. ASUU commenced a strike which has been described by the minister of labor as “illegal”.
The union issued a directive for its members in universities all over the country to begin a two weeks “warning strike” in response to the government’s decision to stop the February salaries of lecturers who have not registered on the salary (IPPIS) payment platform. The union is also protesting poor funding and non-implementation of previous agreements.
Very often, the union embarks on a strike action to protest or try to influence Government decisions that are not in their favor and these strikes are very harmful to students, schools and the Nigerian educational system.
Most parents and students have lost faith and interest in the educational system of Nigeria. Those parents that have provided the needs and basic amenities of their children on campus will bear the burden of “reproviding” it as most of the students will consume these amenities during the strike period.
Parents who can afford to train their children in foreign schools are also making plans towards that, to make sure the incessant strike actions in Nigerian Universities do not affect their children’s education and all these lead to the depreciation of our educational system and brain drain because most people that study abroad usually end up residing and working there.
According to Agnes, a 200 level student of Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, these strikes stress students because it forces them to finish school work within a limited period of time in a bid to catch up on weeks, sometimes months of missed school activities, making them forfeit somethings they should have learnt.
Joy, a 300 level student of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, thinks these strike actions have made the Nigerian educational system untrustworthy as it downgrades the system’s quality when compared to that of other countries. “Let us assume there are assessments and researches regarding delicate issues that should be carried out by students of a public Nigerian University, the strike would delay the preparation, advancement of the research and lead to failure of the individuals and the school involved”. She also thinks the strikes makes students spend more years in schools than required and it prevents them from learning everything they should due to limited time as a result of the action leading to learning discomforts, unnecessary pressures and frustration.
These strike actions also causes poor academic performances and high rate in crimes, as students hardly stay focused on their academic work during strike periods, they rather engage in immoral and criminal acts, and hardly remember what they have been taught before the strike during exams.
Strike actions are not good for anyone and I think that there should be a better way to resolve any issue that may arise between the union and the Federal Government in the future without doing harm to the educational system, students and the general image of the country.