It’s a popular saying that you can’t graduate from a Nigerian tertiary institution without undergoing strike.
When you tell people you’ve gained admission into any institution of learning in Nigeria, the first advice they can give you is to add one or two years to the number of years you are going to spend in school because you’ll definitely come back home due to strike.
it sounds funny, right?
But it’s the bitter truth. When i gained admission into the university in the year 2019, I had calculated that i should graduate in the year 2023 but guess what, we’re In the year 2022 and I’m still in my second year. Why? The strike caused by the disagreement between the Academic Staff Union of Universities ASUU and the federal government of Nigeria.
So what is exactly the problem? What are the causes of these strikes? Are there any probable solutions to this issue? What are the effects of this strike on our academics? Is this incessant Strike doing us more good than harm?
These are fundamental questions that will be treated in this article.
Let’s dive in
What is an incessant strike?
An incessant strike is a continual effort made by a particular organization or body to stop working in order to force their employer to comply with their demands.
Private and public service employees with unions are legible to go on strikes to press home their demands or points but as in the case of Nigeria recently, it seems as if the government is used to striking employees because they all turn deaf ears to the demands.
It has been five months since students are sent home, yet there is no hope of resumption any time soon. Whereas, the academic union body is getting support from other unions like the Nigeria Labour Congress NLC which is set to go on two days of solidarity protest. Even students have been protesting but nothing has been done, rather, we only hear about how our leaders jet abroad to celebrate the graduation of their children.
what exactly is the problem?
Causes of Incessant Strike in Nigeria institutions
It’s the goal of every tertiary institution to deliver exceptionally skilled and well-educated graduates each year but it’s a pity Nigeria’s education system can not boast of having achieved any of this goal because of this incessant Strike. Instead, they produce half-baked graduates.
Here are some of the reasons for this
- Unhealthy relationship between the academic bodies and federal government.
There are various reasons for strike issues in our tertiary institution one of which is this unhealthy relationship.
On the 16th of February 2022, the Academic staff union of universities, ASUU, went on yet another strike. A one-month warning strike. While Addressing the media, Emmanuel osodeke a professor said that the government has failed to implement the memorandum of understanding and memorandum of action (MOA) signed between the Union and the government. To ASUU, the government has continued in its poor commitment to the payment of academic earned allowances.
There’s no healthy relationship between the academic union and the federal government thereby causing serious disagreement between the both of them.
- Bad leadership
Another cause of this incessant strike is bad leadership. We do not have leaders who prioritize education and understand its importance in this country. It’s the sad truth. Or who else will allow his kids to stay at home for five months?
While some students are finding skills to learn or work to do, the majority of the students are at home hoping to resume soon. They don’t want to start something they cannot finish – they can’t get a job when they don’t know how long the strike will take.
I don’t expect students to sustain their enthusiasm for their course when they are at home doing nothing.
Lecturers are extremely underpaid, yet they still have the worst conditions. Whereas, our leaders are earning bogus salaries and bonuses much more than they need.
Yet they still keep on mismanaging academic funds every now and then. As a result of this, the government is unable to tackle financial problems like paying of the workers’ salaries, providing basic amenities for the institutions, and so on.
- Poor bargaining
Another major cause of this incessant strike is the poor application of collective bargaining. Even after the Union has bargained with the government maybe through a peaceful meeting, their needs are still not being met.
Recently, the president of the academic union said Nigerians should blame the Minister of Labour for the prolonged strike.
- Poor conditions around the school
Accidents as a result of bad roads also cause strike actions.
In a school like Adekunle Ajasin university at Akungba Akoko, a lot of accident that has claimed several lives and put the future of their family in jeopardy has occurred severally due to Akungba’s bad road.
What’s the essence of receiving lectures, going to classes in the hot sun, doing assignments, paying school fees, and at the end of the day getting killed in an accident?
That could have been prevented if the roads were good. Because of these accidents, students of adekunle Ajasin university usually go on strike to make Ondo State government aware of the problem the school is facing as a result of bad roads.
Effect of Incessant Strikes on students
There are several effects of this incessant strike on the students. It tends to affect the students more negatively than positively. A lady shared how she started making money during the strike but this is not a common story among students.
Although when academic unions go on strike, the government is forced to give them what they want, this issue tends to be unfavourable on the path of the students.
It reduces the mental ability of students. The longer these students stay at home, the lesser their mental ability, in most cases the lecturers teach the students over and over again but they’ll seem not to grasp anything.
A lot of Nigerian students have lost interest in education as a result of these incessant strikes. The popular saying “school na scam” has now become the order of the day. Youths nowadays believe that education has no specific value again thereby making our students lose interest in studying and looking for something else to do with their time.
There’s a rapid increase in crime rate as a result of this incessant Strike. Instead of these youths just staying at home idle, they’ll look for other things to do, in their quest of doing something, most of these youths engage themselves in unwholesome practices.
Cybercrime has become the order of the day. Many illegal practices are being carried out as a result of “we don’t want to just sit at home”
Our youths have now become “computer thieves”, and their cybercrime has now gotten to the climax of killing themselves for rituals all because our leaders have made education seems valueless and it now seems as if money is the main thing. This has really caused so much havoc in our society
This strike also causes a waste of time. Four-year course turns into six years.
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We don’t need a soothsayer to tell us that this strike issue has done us more harm than good in our contemporary society. The government and academic union should please employ peaceful means of settling issues such as collective bargaining and so on instead of striking.
The students are on the losing end as a popular saying
The government should please show empathy for the students and always listen to academic bodies when they come with their grievances.
Incessant strike issues are doing us more bad than good. In order to save the future of this generation, this incessant Strike must stop.
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