Students have mixed feelings regarding suspension of ASUU strike, yet future look bright
Some university students have said they have mixed feelings concerning the suspension of the strike embarked upon for some nine months by members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
Some students told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) this Tuesday in Lagos that they were happy about the suspension of the strike and pleaded for a lasting solution so as to ensure a repeat does not occur.
Others stated that they had acquired new skills that would help them in their future endeavors and were now ready for the fresh year.
Sunday Lucky, a student of the University of Ilorin, commented that the unexpected break had been quite hard on him. “Some students who live off campus had to leave their homes because they couldn’t pay rent,’’ he stated.
Lucky said, nevertheless, that he used the off-school period to acquire a new skill for the betterment of himself. Another student, Gladys Ajite, remarked that she didn’t expect the strike to last very long, but that she spent the time to improve her online business.
Ajite, a student of Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ebonyi, also noted that the strike had benefitted her financially and would still benefit her despite being called off.
“I have always been a business tycoon and now I can proudly beat my chest that I am a successful crypto and online marketer,’’ she noted.
A student of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Chukwuemeka Vitus, said he was quite happy when the strike was announced because of great academic pressure and stress, but didn’t expect it to be suspended. “This strike has made me learn new things though I have forgotten most of what I learnt in school,’’ he remarked.
Vitus didn’t hesitate to add that even though he wasn’t fully ready to go back to school, he was happy that the strike had been suspended.
ASUU started a warning strike on March 9, 2020 and embarked on a full-blown strike on March 23, 2020. It decided to suspend the strike on Dec 23, 2020 after a number of apparently successful negotiations with the Federal Government.
A number of the demands by the union that required serious financial commitment included Earned Academic Allowances, revitalization of the university system, upgrade of facilities among some others.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has decided to call off its nine-month strike because it dawned on the leadership that the unfortunate economic situation the country is in would not allow the government to meet up with some of its demands.
The government, however, has in a show of goodwill and understanding, already started paying part of the salaries of the university lecturers, and has vowed to provide financial help for the academics to the best of its ability.
There appears to be a constructive understanding between the government and Academic Staff Union of Universities, which hopefully promises a brighter future for the country’s academia.