TROUBLED SOUL OF NIGERIA’S EDUCATION

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Incessant and avoidable industrial action has crippled the already fragile Nigerian education system. When it is needed to be back on track, who cares to fix it? Last time, I read a comment made by the Education Minister while telling the students and parents the genesis of the Academic Staff Union of Universities’ (ASUU) crisis. Malam Adamu Adamu said that a past government sat down and entered into an agreement with ASUU to pay over one trillion Naira. He wondered where the money would come from.

After series of failed meetings to end the strike, the lecturers remained adamant while the government sometimes shrugged and moved on. This can be deduced from Adamu’s position on our varsity system which has been left on its kneels and continues to suffer. Why is it that every bureaucratic ideal thing or structural issue results in disagreement between ASUU and its employer – government? Remember, a payment platform had once been a source of strike –the controversial IPPIS.

Just after three days that ASUU suspended its nine months strike which has caused the education sector especially tertiary institutions a great set back, the FG ordered the suspension of academic activities in Nigerian varsities. This happened like a stillbirth baby after nine months, though, caused by the second wave of Coronavirus.

Nigerian education sector has been in quandary for the past two decades especially when it comes to qualitative and sound education system. I once read in a report by same Malam Adamu Adamu who said that: “Some graduates can’t write or read in English.” This is worrisome. Then, who cares about this –ASUU or FG? It is not time for blame game, please.

Yes, it is worrisome!

What does the ASUU–FG rift means in rating of Nigerian varsity? Universities have been shut for almost a year now, the students’ interests in learning have been truncated. All these are happening in a certificate- oriented country.

Shutting down varsity may not be the best option, we are old enough to live with Covid-19 and its guidelines. As a student, my school has been making everyone to follow the Covid-19 protocols. I believe others will do the same. As the unknown said “Strive for progress, not perfection.” The development of any country tilts towards the progress and the future of its youths who are now being neglected.

Usman Abdullahi Koli, Mass Communication Department, Abubakar Tatari Ali Polytechnic, Bauchi