Let lecturers return to the classroom!

We join other concerned Nigerians to appeal to the striking university lecturers to return to the classrooms and laboratories and teach the suffering students who have borne the brunt of the protracted altercations between the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the Federal government.

The last strike lasted eight months – a whole academic year!

We need not try to interrogate the cause of the teachers’ anger because it would not help assuage the litany of woes that had been the lot of the teachers over the years with regard to government’s broken promises and agreements with the lecturers.

While the lecturers have cause to feel disappointed by the government officials who tend to play pranks with them, it is undeniable that the poor students suffer most.

Many of them enter the university without a clear idea of when they will graduate even with the best of academic performance and display of character. Courses that should take four years could linger for six or seven years because of the now serial strike actions by the teachers.

Prolonged stay at home without ready temporary jobs at non-existent factories leave the young ones with hardly any other option than to stray and soon join the wrong group at the fringes of the society.

Many female students don’t return when the strike is over because they had been married off or become pregnant inadvertently. What these young ones lose is unquantifiable in terms of their lives’ goals and ambitions. The lecturers are better placed to assess the impact of the loss these students suffer for no fault of theirs.

The present government may not have shown sufficient enthusiasm in matters of education and human development generally. But there is always a future which could sweep in an administration that appreciates the critical role of education.

Please, once again, we call on the university teachers to seriously consider the fate of their students and wards and call off this strike. The nation will forever be grateful to them.

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Christian Voice