The Effects of the Strike on Nigerian Students.
Recently, we found out quite an interesting fact regarding the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU. You probably never knew that ASUU has embarked on 16 industrial actions between 1999 and 2022. Wow! Just wow!! Well anyways, now you probably know why this article had to be written.
Just to be sure, we decided to check out the actual meaning of ‘strike’. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a strike is a work stoppage by a body of workers to enforce compliance with demands made on an employer. The initial part of the definition we can all see with ASUU. The latter part, however, we are yet to see. The most recent of these strikes is one of ASUU’s longest streak till date - an uninterrupted industrial strike of 8 months. These compulsory breaks in publicly-owned universities have had serious effects on the students, many of whom have either seen their education as a lost cause or are just still in school to get their certificate and, in the words of one particular 300 level student, ‘get out’!
We have highlighted a number of these effects the ASUU strike has had on the students. If you just happen to be in this circle of affected students, mafo! A wa pelu e.
Disruption of the academic calendar
One thing we can all agree on is the fact that whenever a strike is initiated, it disrupts the school calendar, thereby putting the school behind on its already planned calendar for that session. The ripple effect of this is that schools are left playing catch-up whenever the strike is eventually called off. A game against time, one which is impossible to win against. This leads to schools going faster than normal and rushing the students by bombarding them with loads of assignments and tests as well.
Lecturers therefore, in most cases, do not have the luxury of time to complete the course outline for that semester thereby creating a lacuna in the educational system as a whole.
Additional years of study
You’d agree with us when we say you rarely come across a Nigerian public university graduate who graduated within the actual number of years specified on his admission letter. A four-year course becomes six and if you are lucky, five. Same goes for a five-year course.
The sound of students complaining and ranting all over social media about this particular issue is one our ears aren’t particularly new to anymore.
The students’ mental health & educational interest
This particular effect is one we could go on talking about all day. A lot of students complain about being bored whilst at home during the strike period and sincerely they cannot be blamed for this. The effect of this however, is that boredom and idleness such as this may sometimes lead to mental health challenges such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders, addictions, etc.
This extends to the students’ educational interest as well. So if you interview 10 students of a public university, you’ll realize that 5 out of 10 are not as interested as they were before in their education or have totally lost interest even.
Waste of financial/economic resources
A typical public university student has to pay a couple of bills to survive in school especially in a system where a lot of the facilities are not quite up to standard. Accommodation fees, for example, which are most times paid on a yearly basis by students who stay off-campus are made to go to waste when students are no longer in school as a result of the strike.
Not only this, other bills such as electricity bills as well end up burning away.
In conclusion, there are other effects of the strike on students ranging from psychological to financial to academic.We can therefore only hope that the tussle between the Federal Government and ASUU is near its end as it has taken its toll already on Nigerian students.