Even as the lockdown due to the Covid-19 Pandemic is being gradually lifted, Nigerian students are being allowed to resume school, but the ASUU strike today has not been lifted. In this post, we are going to see how the ASUU strike has been affecting Nigerian Students.
The ASUU strike we see today has been there since the beginning of the year 2020, although the Covid-19 pandemic became more relevant at some point. And now that the lockdown associated with the pandemic is being lifted, and universities being allowed to resume school, the ASUU strike re-emerged.
The factors that affected Nigerian students mainly from the Covid-19 pandemic, and ASUU strike today, is largely due to the long absence from school. Others could be channeled to the mental health challenges which they may be facing as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
ASUU Strike Today; Nigerian Students Fear They May Lose an Academic Year
It is over six months now since Nigerian students have been sitting at home waiting patiently for school to finally resume. According to the academic calendar of most Nigerian universities, some semesters require less than eight months to complete, and some academic years; less than ten months.
And having spent more than half of the time required to complete these outside school, it becomes more likely that they will need at least six more months to complete their stay in school.
The issue with this is that it affects the whole career of Nigerian students by automatically decreasing the number of years they have to work in the civil service.
Hence, making their age of retirement closer by a year. For such students who may have plans of exploring other areas of study outside their profession after graduation, it slows down their plans.
Another big issue with this is in the actual employment of affected students when they graduate. Some institutions in the labor market have policies that may not favor older graduates, and losing an academic year will only worsen the scenario.
Also, some schools were benevolent enough to teach their students through the media. In the course of the online lectures, some other students are anxious about meeting up with the imposed online lectures scheduled by school administrators due to the lack of available resources to meet up with the lecture’s demand.
This posed some threat to their mental health as they felt they were being left behind by their colleagues.
Why this Fear is Affecting Some Class of Students More
Some students studying professional courses like Medicine and Surgery, Law, Pharmacy, and so on, already have six and five years of their lives (respectively) dedicated to getting a degree. Any other addition to this may not be easy to bear. So they are mostly the ones in favor of school re-opening as soon as possible.
Also, students who are in their final years are more agitated and would prefer school to resume as soon as possible so that they can complete their final exams and graduate.
Students Have More Time to Understand the Concepts Thought in School
Some students, even though are not happy that they may be losing a year in their calendar, are using this time frame to better understand the concepts they were taught in school, and are making plans on how to be better students upon school resumption.
Most have covered those subjects which they may not have sufficient time to cover assuming school continued without the Covid-19 pandemic and the ASUU strike today.
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The Effect on Students Whose Parents are Under ASUU
The Covid-19 pandemic affected the global economy both positively and negatively. But the negative impact generally outweighs the positive. Many Nigerian students are being sponsored by their parents or guardians.
Some of these guardians were affected by the non-payment of some of the university staff which resulted in the infamous ASUU strike. The university staff who failed to comply with the federal government’s Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) were not paid their salaries for close to five months into the pandemic.
So these students should be concerned about payment of their various fees even if school should resume today. Also, the total lockdown of economic activities at the early phase of the pandemic adversely affected the current price of goods and commodities, and this impact is not lost on the essential commodities needed by students to effectively resume school either.
Furthermore, within the lockdown, some schools due to concern for the students cared enough to teach them virtually through online lectures.
But with the economic situation in the country, some may not be able to afford to be online for such lectures due to unstable power supply in the country, the tariff on electricity and petrol, and insufficient funds to buy data and connect to the internet. While this was not a big deal for some students whose parents are well to do.
Why Some Students May not Feel the Economic Impact
On the other hand, many students were exposed to learning various trades within the lockdown. Some made good money by investing in different businesses, and may not be bothered much about their welfare after the resumption.
Also, some utilized this opportunity to focus more on life after graduation, and carefully plan on coping mechanisms for the unemployment rate in the country. Many achieved some great feats; writing books, learning new skills that are relevant to their course of study, and so on.
The ASUU Strike has Taught Nigerian Students to Understand What Really Matters
A lot has changed with regards to being relevant in the world market today. The definition of a successful career is gradually drifting from just being a graduate from the university to actually having practical solutions to problems in the society.
This period has taught students to re-imagine life without the traditional school system. Where one graduate at a given year as specified in the school calendar, secures a government job, and collecting monthly wages. Nigerian Students have witnessed the importance of skill acquisition for sustainability and increased relevance in this ever-evolving world.
So what really matters now is not just bagging a certificate, but actually having something practical to give back to the world in exchange for financial freedom.
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When School Resumes
The ASUU strike has been affecting students both negatively and positively, as they now understand better what really matters in life.
Finally, If eventually students are called back to school, their attention would be focused more on learning the practical application of the things they learn from school, as opposed to learning just facts that can only help you make it through the exam halls.
One can predict that there will be more students who will venture into entrepreneurship, to enable them to have a stable backup in their career in case a scenario like this plays out again.