By Pokalas, Paiyun-Dayi Tal.
If the Government both past and present had heeded ASUU’S demand for revitalization, Universities would have had enough freshness and energy to find a way around the pandemic at this crucial time when schools have been closed for almost a year and especially now that the hopes which spreads forth light has been dimmed by the indefinite postponement of the earlier date announced for school resumption.
The excitement with which students and parents greeted the news of the reopening has been dashed. This I can only attribute to a lack of planning by a band of men who happen to seat at the hem of national affairs only to keep rescinding crucial decisions at every turn as though these decisions haven’t been carefully thought about before implementation. An instance of this is how the nation has been driven as pendulum regarding decisions on electricity tariff hike.
I have read reactions and equally heard of how people have been thrown into a manic sense of infuriation at the fact that ASUU declared that with the current surge in COVID-19 cases schools aren’t safe to reopen because facilities that will ensure safety aren’t in place and that ASUU cannot risk the lives of its members to return to the classrooms just to satisfy the appetite of other education stakeholders in the country.
Moreso, with an unfulfilled promise of payment of the legitimate salary arrears there still won’t be enough motivation to resume classroom, this is but by the way. ASUU just like any other trade union hold as a duty to ensure good welfare of its members and safety of lives is not an exemption. I can only regret the inconvenience this pronouncement will cause the general public, but I must stress that even if school reopens, comrades can only resume only at the behest of our dear union.
To make a point further, seeing the kind of levity with which the government’s delegation led by Dr. Ngige handled the strike issue before a “resolution” was reached, I can only think that given the attitude conspicuously displayed especially with Dr. Ngige’s claim of a “gentle man’s agreement” you know? I am scared that the government will not be up and doing in watching to completely deliver on all yet to be fulfilled promises, seeing how they kept mum last year and did nothing when COVID-19 took over during the strike period. This is just my shot in the dark. I do hope my conjecture doesn’t hold water for if it does, the latent hope in our minds for this government will completely be quenched.
The “we move” mantra making rounds among Nigerians especially on media platforms cannot be a conclusion to the current suspension of the planned reopening especially to any man who understands that it is the government’s negligence over these years that has brought us to this point of mis-decision. One can only say “this life no balance” to the treatment education is getting from the government of the day.
If you are one who chooses not to look at these issues objectively, I’ll borrow to conclude with a soothing words from Dr. Amoka who said “Let’s keep swimming in our ignorance and our own idea of education and university system”