ASUU: Strikes Not The Solution

By Yusufu Shehu Usman

The inevitability of instability of the Nigerian University education system is the reason why even poor people struggle to send their wards abroad for university education these days
Nigerians no longer trust the quality and delivery of education by our universities.
The standard is poor and questionable, the quality is low and the duration of completing any program is uncertain.
To make matters worst, the teachers spend more time on strike than in the classroom
A few years back, it was unthinkable for Nigerians to go to countries like Benin, Niger or Rwanda for university education
Today Nigerian parents even if they could Ill afford it, prefer to send their wards to obscure countries in Africa and other parts of the world to study and return proudly as foreign graduates
No country can rise above the level and quality of its educational system
Truth be told, our tertiary education system at all levels are at their lowest ebb and on the brink of total collapse
I remember years back, Nigerian universities like ABU, UNILAG and University of Ife played host to international students and scholars because they earned the well deserved reputable as Centres of excellence and citadel’s of learning
Lecturers and researchers from the UK Russia and the USA visited these star Nigerian Universities in exchange and contribution to knowledge
Today, scholars hardly come here on visit even from Niger or Benin republic. It’s hard for our universities to even exchange visit among themselves
The poor quality and low standard of content and delivery affect the teachers, the students and the integrity of the programs they are expected to deliver
It is difficult to determine whether the teachers deliver value for what they are paid after strikes or even in regular sessions
It is not hard to understand why there are widespread incidents of sex for grades, cash for grades and other subterranean favours for grades
It explains why we produce graduates that are unemployable and why we have graduates that can’t successfully fill simple forms and as the NYSC recently reported, we even have graduates that can not recite the English alphabets.
All we have, has been a cycle of strikes by the various labour unions in the tertiary education institutions and a harvest of closures and disruption of academic activities for months on end
I think it’s time our tertiary institutions started thinking alternatives to strike and shut downs. It could be true to say that the strikes have not changed anything significantly. They have neither impacted positively on quality nor standard.
We can only be proud of quantum and proliferation of higher institutions without commensurate development or growth in quality, depth and standard of contents.
I am not putting the blame on ASUU or its counterparts in other tertiary institutions.
It is a generally acceptable truth that every nation deserves the quality and standard of education it has chosen to develop for itself. That is the case with Nigeria today
We are all complicit but the greater share of the culpability must be laid squarely on the doorstep of those we have entrusted with the responsibility of running our education system.
As for ASUU, the strike Is too much, too frequent and getting irritating for the people. It has not solved the problems of our tertiary education.
It’s time to rethink other all inclusive measures, strategies and policies that will yield the desired results and move our tertiary education forward.
We need an all citizens engagement to brainstorm on the real problems at root of the comprehensive decay in our educational system at all levels.
Strike Is only scratching the surface or treating the symptoms of the malignant cancer which is threatening to destroy our education.

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