The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Monday commenced another indifinite strike over the failure of the government to fully implement the 2009 FGN-ASUU Agreement and the 2013 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
This has brought academic activities in most Nigerian public universities to a halt.
This disagreement between government and the academic unions often result in deadlock that usually disrupts academic calendar. Here are seven some implications of the indefinite strike by ASSU:
1. As the saying goes, when two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers it. The grass, in this case is the students who bear the brunt of the disagreement. Incessant strike action by ASUU reduces the academic performances of students. As learning is suspended for a long period, the students reading abilities fall. Even the knowledge acquired during the learning period is even forgotten by some students. This mostly turns some students into certificate seekers than knowledge seekers.
2. Most prolonged strikes distort the school calendar. The after-effect is prolonged school year that exceeds stipulated periods. Here, most academic activities for the school year would be distorted. This is one major cause of producing unqualified graduates who are deficient in their fields of study. As a result, students who are supposed to do a four year course end up spending six years in the school for a simple programme.
3. Despite the poor research and innovation capability of our present set of universities, incessant strike will continue to jeopardise the research they are undertaking. The kind of research and development activities that can put Nigeria in the league of developed nation cannot take place in a disruptive environment like the one we are currently witnessing in our universities. Therefore, it is clear that the current ASUU strike will have negative effect on our industries and from there our Gross Domestic Products (GDP).
4. Strike also has the tendency of leading undergraduates into some social vices like prostitution, oil bunkering etc. “An idle man” they say, “is the devils workshop.”
5. Nigeria has growing number of Internet users, the redundant undergraduates taking a lion’s share of the pie chart. While some are beginning to see Internet fraud as a booming occupation owing to the sheer oppression by the ostentatious lifestyles of their peers, others have simply taken solace in online pornography. The number of attendees at night clubs has also witnessed an overwhelming surge, thereby paving the way for constant abuse of drugs and alcohol.
6. Efforts at reducing crime rates in the society have taken a sudden plunge, with most holiday job providers now more reluctant to employ students-turned-urchins to their workforce. The pungent strike discouraged a large number of undergraduates from reading their books since most of them felt there was nothing to read for. Several social networking sites declared huge profits from the sky high increase in the number of registered users.
7. There is a direct connection between economic development and educational growth. The monetary cost of any lost working day to the current ASUU strike is huge as it runs into billions of Naira, both in term salaries and wages, as well as lost
There is need for a re-evaluation of the education sector. Factors that often lead to strike in our institutions should be addressed. There is no doubt that the infrastructures in most of our schools are as old as the years of the schools. This is unacceptable.
Conducive learning atmosphere is a sine-qua-non for quality education. In addition, education should be properly and adequately funded to encourage effective research and to avoid brain drain. Proper funding and equiping of Nigerian universities will go a long way to stop further strike action.
Government should always try to honour whatever agreement reached with the academic unions. Most protracted strikes can be averted if necessary steps are taken to build a good relationship between both parties. It is worth emphasizing that any government with a poor education system is heading towards a black future.
On the other hand, the various unions in our institutions of higher learning should device other m be the last resort. This is because of the negative effect frequent strikes have on students and the entire academic community.