The final year students of Federal University Oye-Ekiti have expressed their thoughts as the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) continues its strike. The strike, which commenced on the 13th of February 2022, has left many final students of the school with different opinions as their hope of graduating in April has faded away.
The school academic calendar for the 2020/2021 academic session, which began on August 30th, 2021 was scheduled to end on the 30th of April 2022, however, the ongoing strike has disrupted it.
In an exclusive interview with some of the final year students, they expressed their thoughts.
Olajide Kolawole, a 400 level student of the Department of Public Administration revealed how the strike has affected his mental health and how he is incurring additional expenses as a result of the strike. “This strike has a toll on my mental health because when I think of my contemporaries in private universities that are currently not on strike, I cannot but feel helpless.”
Gbenga Stephen, who is also a 400 level student in the Department of Library and Information Science explained how the strike has stopped him from carrying out his final year research project.
“Right now, I do not even have the zeal to pick up my final year project and work on it because to me it does not count. There is no one to check what I have done or correct me if I am doing the wrong thing,” he said.
Another final year student, Olakunle Akinsola, from the Department of Biology Education explained how the current strike has stopped him from progressing to the next phase of life.
“This strike is a big concern to me. I am not growing younger. I have been in a higher institution since 2012 and I am still struggling with my first degree in 2022,” he lamented.
He further stated that the strike has discouraged him from pursuing a career in the academic line as he is not impressed with the current situation of things in the educational sector.
Happiness Ismail, a finalist student of the Department of Animal and Environmental Biology explained how the strike has disrupted her project work. “I am working on anthropogenic disturbances on a reservoir, the best time to get a valid result is during the dry season. Unfortunately, the ASUU strike started in February and till now I am unable to do anything,” she disclosed.
She added that the strike might affect her “hard-earned” CGPA.
However, Eniola Onitilo, a 500 level student in the Department of Mechanical Engineering lamented that many engineering projects have been damaged due to the current ASUU strike. “Due to the nature of my course, some of the completed projects in the Faculty of Engineering are already damaged and considering the electronic nature of these projects a lot of them are currently undergoing degradation,” he commented.
Adenike Awofadeju, a 400 level student from the Department of Accounting claimed the strike has discouraged her from studying for her final examination as she is not sure of when the school is resuming.
Similarly, Damilare Odunayo, a final year student from the Department of Political Science vehemently stated that the strike could affect his academic performance as he has not been studying.
Also, Aneke Adanna, a final year student in the Department of English and Literary Studies stated that the strike has prevented her from moving to the next phase of life.
Another finalist, Dolapo Bakare, a 500 level student of the Department of Animal and Production Health claimed that the ASUU strike has prevented him from “enrolling for a particular exercise which requires him to be a graduate.”
Expressing her thoughts, Ayomide Akerele, a final student in the Department of Mathematics said that the current strike has made her lose interest in formal education. She further explained that she might not resume back to school if the strike is eventually called off.
Another concerned student, Segun Afolabi, revealed how the strike has made many people in his environment doubt his studentship as many of his contemporaries who attended private universities have graduated.
“I am frustrated with how people ask me questions in my street. They are always asking about what is keeping me in school as many of them do not even know that ASUU is on strike,” he opined.
As students expressed their thoughts, a lecturer at the university, Dr Yetunde Williams stated her stance on the ongoing strike.
While speaking in an interview, Dr Yetunde Williams, a lecturer from the Department of Business Administration admitted that the strike might affect students’ performance. However, she stated that the strike is meant to bring about improvement in public varsities.
“ASUU is on strike because of the students, the Union wants a conducive environment for the students so that they will be able to compete with other students across the world. If public varsities are privatised, many will not be able to afford it,” she explained.
She further stated that students should not lament but hope that the federal government will do the needful. She concluded by advising students to remain focused and also use this period to acquire relevant skills.
Amidst these mixed reactions, the federal government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) are yet to reach a formal agreement.
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