Averting another prolonged ASUU strike
After a one-week warning strike called to protest the Nigerian Federal Government’s (FG) poor response to its list of demands and which has now mercifully, the word out there is that there may be more disruption coming for the nation’s university system.
This is on account of hints that the university teachers, displeased with the response of the authorities once again to their sting action, may presently be stirring for a clearly more costly and damaging follow-up indefinite strike action. All people of goodwill must prevail on the affected parties to not let this happen.
At the core of the proposed action is what the Academic Staff Union of Universities sees as the lukewarm attitude of governments at different levels to seriously prioritise education and ensure that it is a very viable industry in the country going forward. We do not think that their core logic can be faulted. In today’s world, education is literally life and it is only an unserious people and nation that do not give it the appropriate attention it deserves.
Indeed, Nigeria urgently needs to reconsider its way of doing business. And one clear place to begin is in a comprehensive re-examination of what education has got to do with development and growth. This is a missing link that continues to rob the nation of immense value and which has been critically crying for redress.
Currently, the sector overall is in a most distressful situation. Evidence of this is in the fact of the huge numbers of Nigerians still going abroad in search of education.
Further, despite being one of the ten most populous nations in the world today and rising, no Nigerian university is ranked in the top 100 of the world.
There are other distressing situations. For example, quality has over the years been massively denuded and graduates overall are not worth the title today. Teachers morale is very low
However, we must not throw away the baby with the bath water. The last time there was a nationwide education strike, it ran into almost one year. This is too expensive. Every hand must therefore be on deck to stop it. Let government and the lecturers please return to the dialogue tables and let all parties consider the larger interest of a nation that needs all the wit it can find today.
Pix: Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari