The Oasis Reporters
March 27, 2022
By Jumoke Bamiteko
Welcome to Nigeria where the fate of students has gone from woes to more woes; Incessant strikes make the fate of students in the Nigerian university system become a ping pong game, bounced between the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
To this end it is essential to question, examine or value the educational system in Nigerian Universities; and the answer may not be far fetched.
Remarkably, from the bowels of history comes the fact that since 1999, Nigerian Universities have been on strike for a cumulative period of three years, spanning about 60 months.
Since 1999 to 2021 lecturers in public Universities have gone on strike 20 times according to available reports.
The Union has truncated the academic progression of the hapless students and compounded the financial burden on parents who have to endure the prolonged stay of their children in the Universities due to the serial strikes.
When the purpose of a thing is not known, abuse as the saying goes, remains inevitable. The educational system which was supposed to liberate all and sundry and meant to be properly funded by the Federal Government has been highly underfunded and the budget for Education in Nigeria is below par.
Both the Federal Executive Council and the National Assembly are aware of the terrible conditions of the institutions but they have refused to do the needful because their children are not in public tertiary institutions.
To buttress the point above, as a student, I discovered that tertiary institutions are not properly funded by the Federal Government. All our structures and equipment are dilapidated and one wonders why the Federal Government always allows ASUU to go on strike before they try to show responsibility.
If the federal government can no longer fund these public institutions, they should stop creating new ones, better than exasperatingly extending our courses by two or three years due to the prolonged strikes.
There is no doubt that the FG and academic unions have contributed greatly to the students’ vices, immoralities and all kinds of social misadventures that are capable of tarnishing their names, the name of the parents, and the name of the country.
These strikes provide destructive windows for students, which they would not have had time for if schools were in session.
Furthermore, we are calling on the Federal Government and the Academic Unions to consider the overall impact on the future of this country because what is playing out is not complementary to the development of our children in all ramifications and calls for a need to declare a state of emergency in the educational sector in Nigeria.
Conclusively, Nigeria is becoming more of a failed state in all aspects, all Nigerian institutions are weak and the politicians are taking undue advantage of it; they will never do anything nor increase the budget for the public educational institutions because their children are not in public schools.
I strongly believe it is time for Nigerian students to arise and wake up from their slumber in all public institutions, to gather their unions in civil protest against the poor funding of the public universities.
It is left for the students and parents to take actions and help ASUU and ASUP or we will still be in the same situation. We cannot continue to trust the Federal Government because the integrity is not there at all.
Written by Olajumoke Bamiteko.
Dept of Mass Communication, Offa Polytechnic.
Source: THE SCEPTRE