ASUU Strike: The Joys and Pains of Resumption By Eniola Olatunji
On February 14, a day of love, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) delivered “loveless” news; they were embarking on a warning strike. Lo and behold, the strike lasted for eight months. During this period, many students acquired various skills. Some became “Tech bros”; others learned tailoring, photography, and the like. The bookworms utilized the period to intern to strengthen their CV. Another sect spent their time watching Netflix, cruising on Twitter, and sleeping at home.
However, one common thing among all Nigerian students on strike was this: they all ate their mother’s food and became fatter. Unlike back in school, where one had to ration the food, coupled with numerous class assignments, impromptu tests, and practicals, there was no holding back on eating good food. Everyone grew bigger, fatter, and fresher. More beards were grown, and skins were glowing. If only they knew what lay ahead!
Mid-October, ASUU called off the strike. No one was expecting it. Yes, everyone was clamoring for resumption but not this soon. Like a dream, different tertiary institutions began to release their updated academic calendar and scheme of work. A period of one week after the call-off was given for students to settle down back in school.
Everyone resumed with massive energy, bright moods, and new stuff to show off. Everyone was narrating how they spent their “last holiday.” The school environment was bubbling. Everyone was filled with new energy to take on whatever tasks lay ahead. If only they knew what lay ahead!
Three weeks into resumption, the excitement died down. The happiness of being back in school disappeared. Like weedy plants rearing their heads after being cleared off, the massive workload resurfaced. Three, three-hour practicals in a day back-to-back. Multiple assignments with stringent deadlines. Five, two-hour lectures in a day with no break in between. To make it worse, every university tried to make up for the eight months that were wasted. So, the usual hard work became harder.