Strike in our educational system is almost as consistent as NEPA (PHCN) not bringing the light for fun. In fact, one should not estimate his or her study years in school without adding the miscellaneous “ASUU Strike” year (s). Whichever way you look at it, all parties involved in ASUU Strikes have their portion of blame, in virtually equal proportion.
Ordinarily, the educational sector of any country is beyond taking for a joke. It is the system that shapes the society. It is the fountain of a prosperous nation. Just like a physical structure, if the foundation is shaky, the entire building is in jeopardy and faces imminent collapse. I keep wondering why the stakeholders in these strikes fail to understand this.
ASUU maintains its position of acting in the best interest of the students. Why this is plausibly true, it isn’t entirely so. Other interests are intertwined and one needs to read in between the lines to unearth hidden motive(s). Yes our educational system is plagued by dilapidated strutures that makes effective learning frustrating and near impossible. But isn’t the knowledge derived in the poor structures just as important?
The Federal Government insists on committing to a part rather than whole of it’s agreement with the union, citing economic implications.
The question is, as the impasse drags on, who is/are the greatest loser (s)? The students? Yes, that’s right. Our elders submit that “when two elephants battle, it is the ground that suffers.” A number of students have been put into untold hardship. Academic wise, they are in a reverse mode. Their protracted stay at home may have subjected many into unthinkable social vices as the devil thrives on seducing the idle minds. Some may have already forgotten what a book or pen looks like, what their matriculation number is, misplaced their identity cards and even house keys! Economically some have become added burden to struggling families.
While the students suffer all these, what happens to the lecturers? Perhaps they just cross legs and read newspapers, then stroll to the bank to cash their monthly diets. Some may have found an escape route to spend time on their farms and other business ventures. After all, life goes On eh? However, a couple of them I’m sure aren’t happy with the whole strike break as it affects their academics as well, or bites their conscience.
On its part, ASUU has placed pecuniary commitments over and above knowledge dissemination, hiding behind the pretext of dilapidated structures to either perfect a political agenda, or demand a disguised sabbatical to douse the intellectual stimulation of its members. It could be both. Otherwise, how do we explain the act of holding the government to ransom over an agreement it didn’t enter in the first place? If one strategy (strike) continues to prove useless time and again, doesn’t it become futile to stick to same pattern again and again?
For the sake of the students, all parties should please sheathe their swords and provide room for positive dialogues that would transmogrify into a workable consensus to accommodate all. ASUU especially have to soften their stance to apply the brakes on this long forceful holiday. Let our brothers and sisters be shielded from the lure of the devil that enjoys a ride on idle minds. They have missed the four walls of the classroom! If dem continue to sit down for house na wetin we gain?
Ibrahim Yahaya, email@example.com