It is no more news that the Academic Staff Union of Universities, as a result of its passion to see education competing favourably with other educational systems engaged in incessant and perennial industrial actions for years.
In fact, it is now a norm for there to be a nationwide industrial action in every regime, either from NLC, TUC, ASUU or any of the major labour unions. While industrial actions may not be the best option where there is conflict of interest, it has been seen as the last resort of the common man as it attracts the government’s attention more than any other thing.
Industrial actions cripple not only education but different sectors of the economy and adversely affect the Nigerian Economy at large. The effect of ASUU strike cannot be entirely boxed in one paper.
The following are some of the effect of ASUU strike actions:
1. Loss of interest in program continuation:
As a result of incessant ASUU strikes, most students have secured jobs or other means of generating income and do not wish the strike to be called off soon. Some even plan of not returning to the classroom again as the salary they now receive is large and they are not sure of getting such jobs after school.
2. Lack of interest in Nigeria education system:
Most parents and students have lost interest in the educational system in Nigeria, as those who can afford education outside the country have started making moves towards it. Some soon to be parents have vowed that their children will not school in this system.
3. Poor academic performance:
Academic breaks are major determinants of students’ performance. This can be deducted from the performance of the Nigerian 2020/2021 Jambites after the 2020 pandemic break. Jamb recorded the poorest performance ever and was forced to bring down the minimum cutoff marks of universities from 160 to 120. Performance is usually low after holidays because most students do not read during strike periods, while others tend to forget key points from lectures as a result of the long wait between lectures and examinations.
4.Unstable academic calendar:
Another significant impact of ASUU strike on the Universities is that it does not allow for a stable calendar system and when there’s no stable calendar system, it can negatively affect the smooth running and the administration of the university.
5. Time extension
What ASUU strike actions have done over the years and will continue to do if not curbed, stopped or at least reduced to the minimum is that it will continue to increase the time span students are supposed to spend in schools. This will happen especially in a school where there may be incessant strikes.
A student that is supposed to spend four years for a course, if he happens to go to a university where strike actions are regular, he may end up spending more than that, it is a waste of time. Students also have their own plans.
This could even be somewhat worse in a school where the normal 4-year course has turned 5 years due to the fact that it is a university of technology. If such a university is strike-ridden, then imagine the additional time students will have to spend. Strike actions elongate time that students spend for their programs.
6. Rushing of academic activities
Another significant impact of strike actions on universities is that the teaching and learning process and flow is negatively affected. This is in the sense that when students resume from strikes, the probability is there for the lecturers to have to make do with the time available to cover all they have to cover. They may not have proper time needed to take the students through for proper transfer of knowledge due to time lost to strike.
Also, the school may want to roll out timetable for examination and this may be without considering whether students are properly prepared or not. This can have a negative effect on the performance of the students. The teaching and learning process will not be as effective as it ought to be.
7. More cost
One other significant impact that strike actions have is that students may have to incur more costs in the process. Considering the fact that rents are for stipulated period of time, elongated strikes makes rents to expire without utility. Students have to renew their rents. Imagine if a student has already paid for a year or for 6 months and then in the process, strike comes in and then no academic activity for a number of months while the rent is counting. By the time the rent expires the students will likely have to renew the rents, paying more for lesser services.
Let’s take this strike matters very serious as it is eating us up… As a young student, some of us will pass the required age for NYSC and won’t be qualified for mobilization.
I’m Ernest Jnr
Department of Chemical Engineering,
Faculty of Engineering,
Niger Delta University.