Benefiting From Long Strikes As An Undergratuate

Strikes by different industrial sectors in Nigeria have almost become a norm. It is either you hear of industrial action in one sector today and another tomorrow, or even more than once by different sectors at the same time.

The commonest of these strikes is that by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). It is an understatement to say that the ASUU strike has become an annual occurrence, as though it is a festival. The Covid-19 pandemic hindered even some national annual events in the world. But no! The ASUU strike wasn't.

While the downing of tools lasts, the government keeps calling for one negotiation after the other. Negotiations that have never come to a conclusion for generations. Again, while the strikes last, whenever ASUU embarks upon them, many students stay in their homes without any meaningful engagements. As to reading their books, they would read more books than all professors in the world combined by the end of one strike.

Most students, during this period, do not engage in lucrative ventures and/or training for fear of stopping midway whenever the strikes are called off. Indeed, they can never predict when the industrial actions will be called off. And truly, money spent on registrations for training, such as baking, might be lost if strikes are called off without completion of training. In spite of all the uncertainties, it is better to dare. Sometimes, ASUU strikes run into months, even up to eight, as was the case in 2020. It is, therefore, advisable for undergraduates of public universities to use these strikes and get themselves skills; marketable ones at that. One might not directly be taught how to 'make money in the varsity, but a good skill will surely give money. Today's most graduates were not better informed; only realities were taught to them thereafter. In a hard way, of course!

The government does not seem sincere. In the heat of the ongoing ASUU strike, there was news that the government had allegedly given USD1million to Afghanistan to rebuild its country. At that same time, ASUU was demanding an amount less than that. More often than not, students are excited about going back to school. But the reality is that; they only miss the fun and all the youthful excesses on campus and, in some cases, parental chains. It is good to get a skill and be a better you. It is as well good to use the strike, lest it uses you. For the time to resume, when there is a strike, no student knows. Not even ASUU nor the government.

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