The students of Nigerian universities can at least now breathe with some relief following the suspension of the long-drawn strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) which lasted for almost six months.
Indeed, two elephants had fought and the grass, which are the parents and students, have suffered from the consequences of the fight.
Regrettably, the hope, aspirations and expectations of many have been dashed as a result of the loss in academic pursuit of students nationwide through these months due to failure by the elephants to reconcile between themselves.
It is sad that Nigeria as a country does not consider and prioritise her education sector above others even when we are aware that education remains the foundation upon which the growth and development of any nation.
The question now is; why does this sector continue to suffer from neglect and nonchalance from governments in the country? The answer is simple: corruption has become a major problem that has eaten deep into the fabric of the nation as a whole. Today, it has almost become an offence and a breach of ‘code’ and ‘conduct’ to see public office holder not indulging or partaking in one form of corrupt practice or the other.
It is a pity that emphasis is not laid on crucial matters like education in Nigeria. We should at least for once emulate and copy standards from Western nations such as Britain and America in relation to the attention their educational systems continue to receive. These nations have recorded giant strides in their socio-economic and political lives due to the fact that they made education of high standard, available, accessible and affordable in their domains.
I believe this is also achievable in Nigeria especially with all the human and natural resources that the nation is blessed with.
The poor funding of education and other sectors that will make life easy for the common man in the society has for long been calling for a better budgetary allocation and especially to security matters in the country as crime rate is on the increase amongst Nigerian youths.
It is a shame that strike is synonymous with Nigeria’s education sector than any nation on the Africa continent. Even at that, without shame we continue to answer the unmerited name, ‘Giant of Africa.
I personally see Nigeria as a giant of corruption in Africa: it is where corruption and injustice find fertile breeding ground for terrorism and political instability. Imagine while our universities and polytechnics were on strike, a ministry could afford to buy bullet proof cars worth over N500 million for use by a minister and only God knows who.
For how long shall we continue to suffer in the hands of some few individuals called leaders because of greed and selfishness? How I wish a law would be put in place that anyone in public office charged with any form of corruption will be subjected to capital punishment to serve as deterrent and give teeth to the fight against corruption in the country.
It is high time the government and the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics also come up with reasonable solutions that will put paid to strikes by the union.
Finally, government at all levels should start seeing education as a child of necessity and save it from dying by ensuring that implementation of policies that relate to its development are implemented religiously.
Source: Daily Trust Newspaper
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