– As students take to artisanship and trading
THE ongoing strike embarked upon by Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is fourteen weeks old, and as it is, the lecturers and their employers, the Federal Government of Nigeria, who is yet to meet their demands may not shift grounds soon.
The nationwide strike followed Federal Government’s failure to honour what is termed as The Academic Earned Allowance (AEA) which formed a component of the 2009 agreement government signed with the union. The lecturers said they won’t return to the classrooms until the agreement with the Federal Government is implemented in full. The implementation, however, according to Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Minister of Finance will cost the government about N90 billion.
When two elephants fight, the grass suffers. The grass here are the students who stay at home – and because of the realities on ground some of them have taken up activities to engage their time while the strike lasts. ENCOMIUM Weekly spoke to some students who narrated what they do now to buy time till the strike ends.
WUNMI AKINWOLA, University of Lagos
I am a final year student of Guidance and Counselling, University of Lagos. I only had few months left when the strike started. But now, in order not to waste the whole time, I started learning fashion and design. Although, I knew a little of it before gaining admission. So, it makes it easy for me to cope. But all the same, I still want to go back to school very soon.
I am appealing to ASUU and federal government to please settle their differences now.
ENIOLA ADEBOLA, University of Lagos
My name is Eniola Adebola, a 200 level student of University of Lagos. I was idle for a couple of weeks when ASUU went on strike. When it was too boring, I started following my aunty to her shop. She sells cosmetics and also does make up.
I learnt how to do make up from her. I believe by the time school resumes, I will be able to get engagement on campus that will fetch me money.
TEMITOPE AYINDE, Lautech
Obviously, it is so devastating. Nobody could have imagined that the strike would last this long. I am already sick and tired of staying at home due to the negligence of the government and ASUU. It is so devastating.
I am helping my mother in her supermarket and also learning fashion designing.
BUNMI JOHNSON, Obafemi Awolowo University
I started learning how to sew about two months back, and it’s going to last about six months. So, once I am done, I would start sewing and making some money for myself. We don’t know if we would still stay at home for more than a year. So, one has to get busy and look for something to do.