This was due to industrial actions embarked upon intermittently by different unions in the universities. He was part of the 2011 Batch C corps members for the one-year compulsory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme.
After scaling through the demanding admission procedures, including a qualifying test at the University of Ibadan, Ugochukwu is pursuing a masters degree at the premier university. The duration of the programme is 18 months but with the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), he is not sure when he is graduating.
Like Ugochukwu, other postgraduate students in the nation’s public universities spent more years than required during their undergraduate training due to disruptions in the school academic calendar. With the ongoing strike, it is uncertain when they will be through with their postgraduate training.
For the research students, anxiety and frustration have set in as the strike enters its ninth week. They are disenchanted because of the crises in the education sector. Across campuses, academic activities have been grounded even as there seems to be no end in sight soon as both the union members and representatives of the federal government have not been able to come to a compromise.
Students believe the demands by ASUU if implemented could go a long way in putting the nation’s ivory towers at par with others across the globe.
Emmanuel Umukoro, a masters student at the University of Ibadan described the leaders as “our pain.”
He recommended that government come up with a policy mandating all political office holders to train their children in the country’s public tertiary institutions. This, according to him “will make incessant strikes unthinkable.” He charged university administrators to utilize their internally generated revenue judiciously.
Henry Akanegbu is a postgraduate student of the University of Lagos.
He said, “ postgraduate studies are research-oriented, and it is quite unfortunate that most researches are now suffering due to the fact that lecturers who serve as guides are unavailable at the moment. This is not the best for Nigeria as a developing country, as many economic and technological breakthroughs usually come from researches. The government should demonstrate political will towards the implementation of the agreements reached with ASUU.”
Olawale Badmus expressed disappointment over the strike. He complained that his parents who are sponsoring him for his postgraduate programme are already “getting tired” of his prolonged stay in the university.
Olawale who celebrated his 29th birthday last Monday said his father sent him a birthday message indicating to him that he is spending more time than expected in the school and reminding him that much is expected of him as he ought to have started “paying back” to the family.