Is Nigeria Unserious About Education?

IT is unfortunate that all the time students spent at home while their education was brought to standstill, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the Federal Government seem insensitive to their situation. Is it that the Federal Government see education of its citizens as valueless as sewage.

How insensitive was ASUU too to have said varsities are not safe for reopening after giving students the hope of resumption by January? If primary and secondary schools could reopen few months back and conclude a term without a single case of COVID-19, is it not fitting to reopen universities? Meanwhile, the ASUU took almost a year clamouring for improved education and remuneration for its members but failed to demand provisions necessary to check the spread of the dreaded COVID-19 in our universities. Perhaps, they were overwhelmed by the billions released to them by the Federal Government.

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Was it not reported that the World Health Organisation said the corona virus might never go away and the world would have to learn to live with it just like HIV? Our markets are safe, our houses are safe, our religious centres are safe, other event centres are safe but our universities are not. This is not just laughable, but absurd.

Why is our education relegated to the background?

The stance of ASUU on safe reopening of universities is evidently paradoxical to the struggle they claimed is for students. If truly, ASUU is  fighting for students and not for selfish interest, the issue of safe reopening ought to have been treated with utmost priority, ab initio when they were busy contemplating the suspension of the industrial action, not after they had told the world that the strike is no more and after having fixed date resumption.

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Similarly, if the Federal Government is concerned with students’ safety and not playing its dirty games of politics with their education, it ought to have put all safety measures in place before fixing date for the resumption. If the coronavirus pandemic has come to stay, we must not run away from it by sacrificing our education. It is sad that at the receiving end of all these are the students.  2020 was sacrificed, 2021 must not be!

Mahmud Yahaya,

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