Impact of Strike Actions on Nigerian Universities
ASUU Strike actions have often been issued of major concern to students in higher institutions especially in schools where strike actions are prevalent. It is obvious that in Nigeria the attention paid to the educational sector is not as good as it ought to be and this has made a lot of lapses to exist in the educational sector. ASUU Strike actions take place for different reasons, it could have to do with demands from the government, it could have to do with the issues with the university administration. Sometimes it’s the academic staff of the university that go on strike, at other times it could be the non-academic staff embarking on strike, they could even all be involved in certain cases. It is important to consider the impact of ASUU strike actions on Nigerian universities.
The way strike actions are used as the major means of getting demands met in in Nigerian universities is a major concern because strike actions have serious impacts on the educational sector. Strike actions may be doing more harm than good in Nigerian universities and this is why it is important to consider the impacts, especially the negative impacts that these strike actions tend to have on the universities. It will behoove the bodies involved to do all they can to reduce the rate of going on strike in universities so as to bring the impact level of this strike actions to the minimum.
1. Time extension
What ASUU strike actions have done over the years and will continue to do if not curbed, stopped or at least reduced to the minimum is that it will continue to increase the time span students are supposed to spend in schools. This will happen especially in a school where there may be incessant strikes. A student that is supposed to spend four years for a course, if he happens to go to a university where strike actions are prominent, he may end up spending more than that, it is a waste of time. Students also have their own plans. This could even be somewhat worse in a school where the normal 4-year course is 5 years due to the fact that it’s a university of technology, if such a university is strike-stricken, then imagine the additional time students will have to spend. That is too bad, strike actions elongate times that students spend for their programs and it is high time that it should be reduced to the minimum. The thing is that students may not want to pull out and find elsewhere to put in again, because they may be considering the time they’ve spent already. Considering the way admission issue is in Nigeria, that may not even be an attractive option.
2. Unstable academic calendar
Another significant impact of ASUU strike on University is that it does not allow for a stable calendar system and when there’s no stable calendar system, it can negatively affect the smooth running and the administration of the university. When incessant strikes occur in a university, then the activities of the school will be distorted. Imagine having planned the academic calendar for the year or for a particular period of time for the school and then before you know it, strike action takes place, then things will not be able to go as planned anymore and then there will probably be need for strategizing and planning again, and this might take some brainstorming and time. It is therefore important to avoid strike actions as much as possible because it does more harm than good. It does not allow for smooth running and stable or running of the university academic calendar. When other means of reaching agreements or solving issues as regards needs and demands in the university are used other than strike actions, when the rate of going on strike is being reduced to the minimum, then there will be less disturbance or disruption of academic activities and the administration will likely take a smoother ride.
3. Rushing of academic activities
Another significant impact of strike actions on universities is that the teaching and learning process and flow is negatively affected. This is in the sense that when students resume from strikes, the probability is there for the lecturers to have to make do with the time available to cover what they have to cover, and may not have proper time needed to take the students through for proper transfer of knowledge due to time lost to strike,. Also, the school may want to roll out timetable for examination and this may be without considering whether students are properly prepared or not. This can be can have a bad effect on the performance of the students. The teaching and learning process will not be as effective as it ought to be.
This kind of rushing approach that strike actions may later necessitate is not too good for students as it will make things not to be done properly. The kind of learning process that students are put through will determine the quality of students that will be produced, so if the learning process is not qualitative enough then it will not help in the long run. Considering these impacts that strike actions have on the quality of education of students in university, the rate of embarking on strikes should be reduced to the very minimal.
4. More cost
One other significant impact that strike actions have, is that students may have to incur more costs in the process and consider the fact that the rent fee for the rooms or the self-contained rooms that these students are staying is for a stipulated period of time, if the period elapses then to continue staying there, the student will have to renew the rent. Imagine if a student has already paid for a year or for 6 months and then in the process, strike comes in and then no academic activity for a number of months while the rent fee is counting, by the time the rent expires the students will likely have to renew the rent and pay money even when academic activities for which reason he/she has rented the room or place has not been on.
The fact that university bodies seem to see ASUU strike actions as a major way of getting what they want is something of concern, may be if they seek out other measures that could be more effective and student-friendly, probably they might come up with new means of demanding their rights, but if strike is often the answer when issues are to be thrashed, then that means strikes will continue to happen. If universities go on strike not considering well, whether it will affect the students or not, then this might be showing that the students are not the primary interest of the universities and that they are not as careful of students as much as they are concerned of the workers. It should rather be balanced. As much as the universities are concerned about the welfare of the workers, they are supposed to be very much concerned about the welfare of the students also, because if the students are not there then the lecturers will not have students to lecture, it should be a balanced thing. They should not rob Peter to pay Paul. They should look for a way to make sure that both the workers and the students are favorably treated.