It's been four months since the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) announced its nationwide strike. For more than 120 days, students of Nigerian federal universities have been unable to learn in classes. For context, 67% of the total number of undergraduate students in Nigeria attend federal universities.
This is not the first time this is happening. In 2020, ASUU went on a nine-month strike from March till December—its longest. Nine months is longer than an academic year. Each semester takes about three to four months, and there are two semesters each academic year. That means that for one academic year, students had no option of going to school.
So, in the last two years, from January 2020 till now, ASUU has been in session for only about a year—if we account for holidays.
ASUU has been on strike for at least three months in the past three years, throwing a spanner in the works of many young Nigerians in universities. These incessant strikes, among other things, prevent students from adequately planning their futures after university.
Therefore, many of these students have opted for alternative solutions such as education in developed countries. In 2021, the UK granted student visas to almost 50,000 Nigerians—3x more than the previous year, primarily due to an increase in sponsored studies. Private universities in Nigeria present another alternative for students.
However, not all students out of school can afford local private universities and those abroad. Hence, an impressive alternative for students is technical education provided by education-to-employment organisations like AltSchool Africa, which train undergraduate students with technology skills in high demand today.
It's insane that the government has allowed the strikes to linger for this long.