By Ebele Orakpo
“What is wrong with these lecturers sef? Are they the only civil servants in Nigeria? Why would they continue to hold us to ransom with their incessant strike actions?” queried Dapo, really looking vexed. The traffic that had come to a stand-still this Friday evening along the Oshodi-Apapa expressway must have added to his annoyance.
“To be honest, it is getting too much. I hear they are complaining that government has refused to pay them their allowance for teaching and supervising more than acceptable number of courses and projects,” commented TJ.
“Put yourself in their shoes. You reach an agreement with your employer and he decides not to implement it. Is that fair? Should we blame ASUU for fighting for their rights?” asked Jude.
“Ehn, if your employer refuses to keep to agreements, then take a walk,” countered TJ.
“The blame should be squarely placed at the doorsteps of government which has refused to do its duty, which is to adequately fund education. ASUU is saying it does not want to keep churning out half-baked graduates,” said Iyke.
“I am not against them fighting for their rights but the method (strike), has not worked so why not change tactics? Albert Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. The strike approach has not worked, so they should look for alternatives at least for the sake of students,” said Dapo.
“Government will not understand any other language; after all they have nothing at stake. Their children are all schooling abroad,” said Iyke.
“And to think that most of these people in government all passed through the ivory tower. It’s so sad that they are playing politics with the future of this nation,” stated Iyke.
“As long as education is not adequately funded and made compulsory for every child, then the war against insecurity is a waste of time. I pity those sending their children abroad to acquire education because after that, they will come back here to meet us. As the saying goes: A child who will not allow its mother to sleep will not sleep. So they will definitely not enjoy their wealth in this country as long as their neighbours are uneducated and not economically empowered.
“In 2007, Ghana’s Finance Minister said that Ghana spent about $1 billion on tertiary education alone in 2006/2007 which represented 45% of the total education budget and Nigeria is busy groping in the dark. When we begin to reap the whirlwind from the wind we are sowing today, Boko Haram will be a child’s play,” noted Pat.
“Our universities are under-funded, libraries are decrepit and researchers are not equipped to work. For crying out loud, a university is supposed to be a citadel of knowledge but what do we have?” asked Jude.
“You know what? These countries where these politicians send their wards to should ban such students from their countries. Let them go to school in Nigeria. Perhaps, that will cause the politicians to sit up,” suggested Mercy.
“Impossicant! You are asking them to reject something that will grow their economy? No way!” said Iyke.
“What annoys me with their strike is that they won’t see it to the end. Before you say Jack Robinson, some of the officials will be bribed by government and they will call off the strike and after some time, they will call for strike again. Makes no sense,” noted Pat.
“My suggestion is that salaries and allowances of politicians should be reduced and education at both primary and secondary levels made free and compulsory,” said Mercy.