By AMAKA ABAYOMI & LAJU ARENYEKA
Although the six-month strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, was called off on December 16, 2013, academic activities have only just begun in earnest in universities across the country.
The strike was called off just in time for the Christmas holidays and stakeholders in the sector took advantage of the situation to enjoy the festivities. After spending nearly seven months away from the academic environment courtesy of the strike and the holidays, many students have returned to school with mixed feelings.
A master’s student at the University of Lagos who did not want her name in print told Vanguard Learning: “I can barely remember the course titles that I am offering this semester or even my matriculation number. And from the feedback I am getting from my colleagues, we would most likely begin examinations in February as soon as the undergraduate students are done. Meanwhile, there are some classes that haven’t held in this semester even before the strike. There aren’t even available lecturers for about three courses in my department.”
Excited to be back in school, an undergraduate student of the University of Ibadan who simply gave her name as Bisi, said “I thank God the strike is over and we are back to school. Though serious lectures are yet to start, but I have fully prepared my mind for studying, studying and more studying because that’s the only way to make up for all the lost time.”
Daniel Igiekhumhe, a student at the University of Benin also speaking to Vanguard Learning, said: “The strike began just when we were about to start writing our examinations in July. So we are expecting that we will be welcomed by examinations soon. But for now, things are a bit slow around here, people are trickling in, but we all know that examinations are around the corner. Even then, it feels good to be back to school after such a long time.”
Stanley Ekpa, a 200 level student of Law at Obafemi Awolowo University, should be in this third year by now had the six-month strike not stalled his academic career. He said: “If the system was stable, I and my classmates would be in the first semester of 300 level by now. But we thank God that at least, we are back to school. Work here started in earnest on Monday, and we are not likely to write examinations until early May.”