Strike! Strike! Strike! A word we are all used to and we all have the same understanding of. The only way, cultivated by Nigerians, to solve most of the issues we have today involving or with the federal government of Nigeria. A word that is now deeply associated with and peculiar to the Nigerian University school system and their challenges. Are we not tired of this constant, damaging re occurrence?
I am not a writer or a columnist or a political analyst or one who specializes in writing long analytical articles. I am a student like most of you all out there who just wants to briefly express her thoughts and disappointment on this shameful situation in our country Nigeria.
Growing up as a child in Nigeria, I constantly heard the phrase ‘We are the leaders of tomorrow’. Most of us have kept that in mind since then; to some of us, it has served as an element of focus on our personal goals. Now, what happened to empowering these leaders of tomorrow? What happened to giving them the best so that they can contribute to making our country a much better place in the nearest future?
This is a very shameful thing, which consistently happens in our country Nigeria. SHAMEFUL as well as IGNORANT, are the two words I keep finding myself using to describe this situation. This is because, it is so appalling how the FG, ASUU and whoever else that is involved in this, can be so bold to leave students at home for MONTHS, doing nothing and having precious time being wasted. I consider this RUDE as well, to deprive these youths of their rights to proper education at the right time and for the supposed duration of their respective intended academic programs. Students who were supposed to graduate in September this year and before now have not graduated, students who are in four year courses are in school for five years, students who started their university programs before me are graduating at least a year after I have graduated. My friends and fellow students who got into the university same year I did, into 4 year programs as well, are still in school, uncertain about when they would be done and move on with achieving the goals which they have set for themselves.
And we wonder why Nigeria is continuously in a state of disarray and little or no progress, why there is high crime rate and why there are just a lot of problems and crisis; it is due to events like this. They say an idle mind is the devil’s workshop. Yes. These young men and women need to stay in school, finish up and move on to the next positive thing including availability of jobs, and not idle about increasing their chances of participating in society vices. Why do those in charge in Nigeria want to jeopardize the future of these individuals and that of Nigeria? Why has Nigeria refused to be a nation that regards education, especially higher education, as the pillar of a society but regards it as a JOKE? Why is the education of our young leaders being toyed with?
Now who are we to plead to?
The FG? Nigeria is quite rich, I mean, has a lot of billions that are being channeled into less important things, money that can be instead, sunk into the education system effectively. If the FG has made a promise, and had an agreement with ASUU and other parties involved, why not keep to it, why delay it, why would they do things that they know would lead to a strike. Can they be professional and serious enough to implement and stick to these agreements?
ASUU? Are we to blame the ASUU for not being patient or just wanting more and more money? Always difficult to negotiate with and would only send their message across through strikes, which never seem to solve the problem, year in year out.
I am not hear to point fingers or analyze who is to be blamed more or blamed less for this. All I would say is SHAAAMMEEE (yes! with my tongue out and eyes wide open, eyeballs bulging out) to the parties involved.
According to the Nigerian Tribune online newspaper (2013), Dr. Nassir Fagae, ASUU president pleaded with students and parents to bear with them as they struggle to right the wrong once and for all. Once and for all?! Once and for all?! Sad but true, this strike may occur again in the nearest future as it has consistently repeated itself in the past years, including the six months strike in 2009. I do not believe that after this strike is ended, there would never be another round of a striking session. For what reason? Same reason as always, needing more money, more money, and more money. I am tired of this for goodness’ sake. Where do all the billions and trillions go? And the ones that have been given to and budgeted for the education sector year in year out, what have they been used for these past years? Or is it not just enough or adequate for the union yet? And they wonder why in recent times, more and more parents send their kids out of the country to further their education, be it as far as the United States or as near as Ghana, a combination of those that can afford it and those that can’t, it is because of this. The Nigerian Education system is in shambles, yes it is! It is very sad to admit.
This incessant crisis needs to be stopped. It is a shame and an embarrassment that university students frequently stay at home for months doing nothing, whiling away time in the name of strike; it should not even happen at all.
Where does the future of Nigeria lie? Where does the future of us youth lie. Where is the inspiration given to Young Nigerians to achieve their goals and be patriotic citizens of Nigeria willing to help improve the country? Why is the making and growing of these young men and women in Jeopardy? What has our president, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan done, as the president of a developing country, about this horrible event in the past years? . The parties involved in this mess should get on their toes and reach a consensus and stop this incredible joke, which ironically, is not funny.
A question for you all – According to the Nigerian Tribune online newspaper (2013), Dr. Nassir Fagae also said it’s for the better of the education sector, while Senate President Dr. David mark said it is killing the educational system in Nigeria. Certainly it is weakening the goals of affected students and killing the system but is it really going to improve education at this rate? In the long run or in the short run? My fellow Nigerians, what are your opinions on these two opposing positions?
Again, IF YOU THINK EDUCATION IS EXPENSIVE, TRY IGNORANCE.
I pray and believe that Nigeria will become a much better country and that God spares this nation from chaos, anarchy, and doom.
Written By: Chinonso Clare Ofodile (firstname.lastname@example.org)