ASUU Strike: Have we given up on Public Tertiary Institutions?
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) started an indefinite strike on the 5th of November, 2018 and since then no resolution has been reached between the union and the Federal Government.
The strike action has been on for over 7 weeks and the country is awfully quiet. Students attending public universities have been sitting at home and the high and mighty in the country are unperturbed.
There have been several disagreements between the union and the FG over the poor state of the government-owned universities in the country but this is different because of the timing. The present administration is seeking re-election and no much conversations are been held concerning the strike action.
Education is the key driver of any country, unfortunately, the leaders of Nigeria are not bothered about the future of the nation. The ASUU strike should be the trending topic all over the country at a time like this but the country’s elites already have their kids out of school or studying abroad so they are not affected by the action.
Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic (ASUP) also started their strike action on the 12th of December, 2018 and no agreement has been reached since then.
Public Universities and Polytechnics in the country are closed and there is no much discussion on how to get it open but we are all preparing for another general election. Have we given up on public tertiary institutions same way we gave up on public hospitals in the country?
Presently, top government officials will rather travel abroad for health care than stay in a hospital in Nigeria and the middle-class prefer going to private hospitals so only the poor are left to attend public hospitals. This is the same way our tertiary education is going as the elite have their kids studying abroad, middle-class kids attending private schools while the poor masses are left with the public tertiary institution.
ASUU and ASUP usually get a lot of support from several other unions in the past but it is painful that it is not the same today. Even the so-called intellectuals used to add their voice in making sure the strike action doesn’t last too long in the past but it is different this time.