The Unending Valentine Gift by Ohore Emmanuel U.
Since the Inception of the Nigerian democracy in 1999, the educational sector has gone on strike more than 16 times.
The back and forth between the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the umbrella body of the teaching staff of Nigerian public universities and the Nigerian government has been an unsettled fight but at the end of the day it is the Nigerian students that suffers for it. Could we say that the same political actors that enjoyed free education, are now the ones deliberately punishing the Nigerian student?
Is it safe to admit that it is because most of this politicians children do not attend our own public institutions hence the reason they are not kin on solving this long time issue?
Every government since 1999 comes in and blame the previous government for their irresponsibility. Our educational system is ranked one of the least in Africa and it is also worthy to note that most of our certificate are not accepted abroad, not to talk about us infiltrating our own problem with the dichotomy between Higher National Diploma and Bsc.
The first ASUU strike was during the regime of Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida in 1988, ever since then, ASUU goes on strike like a yearly festival.
During the 2020 pandemic period, a two-week ASUU ‘warning’ strike (March 9th – 23rd 2020) was embarked due to the underdeveloped educational system. Most higher institution in Nigeria were unable to adopt E-learning and for 10months students were at home, but immediately schools resumed early February 2021, most schools had to compress their academic calendar to enable them meet up.
Since Feb 14th, 2022 the Nigerian students has been at home. ASUU has continually accused the federal government of not implementing the 2009 agreement on conditions of service and funding of the universities, “revitalization” through massive funding and ASUU has continue to stress the importance of “genuine university autonomy and academic freedom.” For decade now, the 2021 budget for education is the lowest , it is a sign that this government place no value on our educational system.
As time goes by, the youth are gradually loosing fate in this system.
The argument between these two elephant has lasted for over 5months, the Presidency has accused the minister of Labour of being unable to solve the problem while the minister of Labour has accused ASUU of sabotaging the system.
Over the weekend, the Minister of State for Labour and employment, Festus Keyamo was appealing to the Nigerian parents to plead with ASUU because the government can no longer solve this problem.
Failure of this government has made so many students to divert their passion of studying into survival. Many has gone on to learn skills and trade.
According to UNESCO, there are currently more than 70,000 Nigerian students studying outside the country, the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada respectively being the leading destinations.
While 2023 election is at the corner, the current government that could not solve this problem for seven years are now promising to solve it in less than 6month to the end of their tenure in office.
These unending valentine gift served by this administration will not only destroy the lives of our teeming youth but propel us as a nation with no vision.
Ohore Emmanuel U is the lead team at Forthman Educational Foundation, Abuja and PGDE student at National Open Univerisity of Nigeria.