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For Or Against ASUU Strike?

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By Fatimat Ibrahim Abedoh

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) declared Monday 7th February as a lecture-free day for all Universities as gets set to embark on another indefinite strike nationwide.

This is not new, it has happened again and again with the Union consecutively going on strike from 1999 to date.

Research has shown the timeline of ASUU strike since the turn of the century as follows: 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2017, 2018, 2019, thus not embarking of a strike in only four years out of 17 years!

Yet the cause for which it has continued to embark on strike remain unresolved.

So, what is the fuss about now? Same old story: money for the revitalization of public Universities, inconsistency in the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) Arrears of promotion, University transparency accountability solution(UTAS), to mention but a few.

The Academic Staff Union Of Nigerian University(ASSU) is a trade union and a union of intellectuals seeking not only the socio-political and economic welfare interest of its members within the framework of promoting the cause of university education in Nigeria but the entire good of Nigeria and Nigerians.

ASSU has shown that the only resort of reaching terms and getting an FGN-ASSU agreement is to always embark on a strike. It is disheartening as they as intellectuals and custodians of knowledge know so well the negative impact of its action on the education system of the country.

So far, we are yet to make up for the last strike action which was also affected by the global COVID-19 pandemic. Schools with differing calendars, derogatory academic performance, youth availability for mobilization of the #endsars protest are all issues that emanate from such action. So, is not it obvious that strike is not the solution? A body of intellectuals should be able to think outside the box and devise a better means to get results as the strike has only done more harm than good, by way of assessment.

Strike action has always been treated with levity by successive and even incumbent governments and shows no sign of abating. If the last nine months strike could not help realize the objectives, then what would this one in the pipeline achieve? Students spend 5-6 years in school for a 4 years course of study. 9 months could not get it done should we expect a year or more.

One of the aims and objectives of the union (ASSU) is the establishment and maintenance of high academic performance and professional practice, establishment and maintenance of just and proper conditions for university education.

How is this aim being achieved as today our best public university, the University of Ibadan is ranking 1,196 globally. What factor could play the key role in this if not for the actions of ASSU?

We, therefore, wish to draw ASUU’s attention to please go back to the drawing board and seek a lasting solution to our fledgling educational system.

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