ASUU Strike Update Today Students’ Reaction

ASUU Strike Update Today Students’ Reaction

The Academic Staff Union of the University and their frequent strikes are no longer a breaking news. It has been a part of the tertiary education system for a long time.

Since its creation in 1978, the primary cause of ASUU’s strikes, virtually annually since 1999, has been the government’s failure to concede to the union’s demands.

Every time the two sides (ASUU and the Federal Government) get together to discuss their differences, it usually ends with the government promising the union that the demands will be satisfied shortly. However, ASUU still accuses of not fulfilling their side of the bargain. And this often leads to constant strikes and delays on the part of the students.

2022 ASUU Strike

Currently, we are entering the eighth month of the 2022 ASUU strike. It began on 14 February and it seems that there is no light at the end of the tunnel. It began as a warning strike for one month then it was increased to three months before it became indefinite.

The main grievance of ASUU is the underfunding of the federal universities and the method of payment. They have long clamoured for the revitalization of the federal universities, the increase of their salaries, and their preferred mode of payment (UTAS).

When two elephants fight, the ground suffers so a popular adage goes. The main victims of this debacle are the students. They are the ones who are delayed. They are the ones who get to lose years just to study one course. Education is not something that can be left behind for a while and picked up after. Most students’ brains are becoming cold due to a lack of academic exercise. The brain is like a muscle, build it, and it grows stronger and when you don’t it becomes weak.

ASUU Strike And The Blame Game

The blame has been continuously shifted from ASUU to the Federal Government. While many believe that the FG handles the matter with kids’ gloves as education is not their priority. Some others believe that ASUU is insensitive and unnecessarily stubborn and that they don’t care about the students but only about their pockets. They also feel that if they cared about the students as they claim to they should just accept what the government is offering and go back to teaching.

Despite this school of thought, it doesn’t change the fact that the FG and ASUU agreed in 2009 – when it was signed and sealed. The agreement was that a total of 1.3trillion should be given to ASUU for the revitalization of federal universities in the country. This sum should be split into 200billion yearly. That agreement is yet to be met.

I believe that FG should meet the demands of ASUU instead of pushing blames and pointing fingers. But would they? After all their children school in foreign universities abroad. What then concerns them when their children are not affected by all these?

It has been almost eight months and yet no concrete step or plan has been made to resolve this matter.

The Congress Of Nigerian University Academics

The matter was made worse when a faction was registered to be an Academic Union alongside ASUU. The Congress of Nigerian University Academics was brought to the limelight on the 4th of October, 2022 after being recognized by the Federal Government.  

On 5th October 2022, the union called off the strike and ordered immediate resumption. This begs a pertinent question: what if our lecturers that are part of ASUU may refuse, who then will teach the students?

If we are forced to go back to school, what then is ASUU fighting for?

A lot of these questions will remain unanswered until the federal government does what is right. The Federal Government needs to handle this matter effectively and reach a conclusive agreement with ASUU so that the students go back to school.

ASUU Strike Update Today Students’ Reaction

Ozii Baba, a TedX Speaker, is an Onitsha-based storyteller and social entrepreneur. He works directly with children and young people.

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