STRIKES have always had their place. For years, some have started condemning the regular feature the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has made strikes. Is there a year that passed without an ASUU strike?

The fact that governments sometimes ignore these notices of strikes, the actual strikes and reneges on the agreements show there could be something the government could miss if there are no ASUU strikes.

Nigeria has acquired notoriety for having a chaotic school calendar. It is not a character that bothers the authorities. Their children are in schools abroad. Civil servants who used to be the poor lot have joined the fair. It is no longer abnormal to see that children of these ordinary government workers attend the best schools abroad.

When ASUU goes on strike, it affects the most ordinary Nigerians. The smart ones among university teachers have found ways of seeing their own children  go abroad for stable and enriching education. The strikes hurt ordinary people, the poor who use all their savings to train their children and some of the students, who starve to sponsor themselves through school.

An ASUU strike is no longer unusual. People do not take it serious because it does nothing to enhance the quality of education. Lecturers are rightly asking that their reward should be on earth. They are luckier than teachers in primary and secondary schools.

It is not an extra-ordinary request. Everyone is grabbing what he can, in a manner that makes nonsense of all the religious pretences that go about in Nigeria. There is no future for university teachers in Nigeria, in the same way that the government does not plan for anyone.

More ASUU strikes would follow, it is not a prophecy, and everyone knows this. The issues are not resolved, these are recurring since governments do not care about education.

The joke is that the current strike ended quickly because the President and Vice President are former university lecturers. Does this reflect the importance the country attaches to education?

Education is a joke in a country that has great visions of being among the world’s best. The schools are in steady decline. ASUU’s concerns barely capture the extent of the decay. Governments have signposted the unimportance of education. The outdated curricula, dilapidated facilities and the peculiar attention paid to human resources tell all the story about the state and fate of education.

What are government’s plans for education? Does it take a strike to get government to give attention to the most basic issues about sports? What else do we need strike to achieve?

Education is too important to be treated in this off-handed manner? It is the bedrock of what countries become. While serious countries worry about the quality of their education, our education faces eradication.

Nigeria is no longer meeting the numbers of educated people it needs for the demands of a developing economy. Strikes cannot develop our education as more than 20 years of strikes have proved.


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