Today, July 31, 2022, commemorates 167 days since the Academic Staff Union of Universities' nationwide strike caused federal universities' doors to be closed. Following a dispute between ASUU and the Federal Government over N18.5bn owed to the union by the government.

Unfortunately, the strike, which began on February 14, 2022, is still ongoing after five months and 17 days, despite several meetings, interventions, consultations, and FG-ASUU negotiations that have yielded no results.

The strike which has affected more than 200,000 students and over 20,000 academic staff has also led to a reduced academic calendar as many colleges and universities have suspended various courses.

The next meeting is scheduled for August 1, 2022, but the fates of the nation’s students are at stake, and there is no guarantee that the strike will be called off at the ASUU National Executive Council meeting scheduled for tomorrow, August 1, 2022.

The meeting, which is expected to be attended by the Honourable Minister of Education (HME), Mallam Adamu Adam, and some other officials of the Federal Government, will be held in Abuja. According to ASUU, the strike is expected to continue until the Federal Government addresses the issues raised by its members. Since Monday, July 15, students have been protesting against the poor funding of their universities and for an improvement in the standard of education.

The undergraduates are dormant, and their parents are concerned that the months of inactivity are having a negative impact on the would-be leaders of tomorrow. They should be worried because this is the future of their country. The Nigerian government has been promising to fix the problem for decades but nothing has happened, and it’s likely that nothing will happen until there’s some kind of pressure put on them.

It should be noted that ASUU was on strike for 60 months and seven days between 1999 and the end of 2021. Unfortunately, the current strike has already lasted six months, is lasting longer than expected and may continue due to the government's approach to it.

While the doors of federal universities across the country have been closed for nearly six months, wealthy Nigerians have been flaunting graduation pictures and videos of their children and themselves from foreign universities, which many say is an insult to the country's right-thinking and long-suffering citizens. The strike has been a tough period for Nigerian families, especially those who are in dire need of education. Some students have had to drop out of school because have had to postpone their plans. Some parents also feel guilty about sending not having the money to send their children abroad or to Nigerian private schools.

Image Credit: businessday

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