ASUU strike: We have since started skills training, part-time jobs – Students

By Veronica Dariya

Some university students say they have since started picking up different skills and part-time jobs as the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) continues to scale back its tools.

The students, who spoke in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Bwari, Abuja, said they had seized the opportunity to learn the skills and be engaged in some jobs to meet their needs.

NAN reports that ASUU again extended its strike for the fourth time, indefinitely after the union’s National Executive Council meeting at its headquarters at the University of Abuja on Monday.

The union went on strike on February 14 to demand a renegotiation of agreements reached between it and the government in 2009 and other unresolved issues.

Miss Daniella Audu, a student at Bayero University in Kano (BUK), said that since the start of the strike, she has become an intern at a sewing center.

She said she started learning the skill a few years ago with her aunt, a professional seamstress, but quit after she was admitted to university to study accountancy.

She said, however, that the strike gave her the opportunity to improve herself again.

“I’m just in my second year at school.

“When they decide to call off the action, I’ll be back but I won’t waste my time doing nothing. We didn’t know it would take this long and we still don’t know how long it will be.

“I should be able to have something to hold on to and support myself and my parents. Life is hard now, and I already have a passion for sewing.

Audu added that it was quite unfortunate that the federal government and the university union could not settle the matter amicably, all at the expense of the students.

However, she prayed that the situation would not last all year.

Mr Rotimi Ado, another student, said he learned pastry with his mother and is now working part-time in a small cafeteria where he is paid N25,000 per month for his services.

Ado said he started the part-time job in April after noticing the strike was not going to be called off anytime soon.

According to him, he has so far been able to save little from his labor to add to what his parents would give him once the strike was called off.

He, however, expressed concern about how the strike might affect some students who may not be able to serve the nation through the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) upon graduation.

“This category of students may be affected by the service age limit at the time of the end of the strike.

“It’s just a shame because there are people who didn’t start school on time because of financial or other factors, and that sort of thing happens.

“You will see that by the time the schools are stable, the time that cannot be recovered has since passed and will certainly affect their service time.

“Imagine someone who is a senior and is probably 29 this year. If we don’t go back this year, or maybe we go back at the end of the year, they certainly won’t be able to meet. It’s sad and discouraging. »

Another student, Miss Lucy Ibrahim, a student at Kaduna State University (KASU), said her school earlier in August asked students to resume and start pending classes and exams.

She noted, however, that not all faculties and departments were able to pass the exams and classes had not yet started so far.

She described the situation as “boring and confusing”, saying teachers and the government were playing with the future of students, “who are young people and are supposed to be the future leaders of the country”.

“They say go to school and get a certificate before you get a good job. This is what we do, but we have become the battleground of two elephants. It is unfair.

“Many of us have taken the opportunity to work from home. Some of my friends even went to the farm but couldn’t do much for fear of bandits and kidnappers.

“Some have cars and have gone into transport.

“What we don’t understand is that many people are affected by this strike and not just students and teachers.

“Calculate the money the Keke runners and taxi drivers taking people to school have missed; the school food vendors, the hostel and off-campus grocery vendors.

“Business centers too. If you look at it with a critical eye, the whole society is affected by this strike in one way or another and it is not good for us.

“However, I urge students to keep the skills they have learned and are still learning, as this could become their main source of income in the future,” Ibrahim said.

She also urged the federal government and ASUU to look beyond their interests and prioritize the education sector for national development. (NOPE)

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