Some universities owned by state governments across the country are gradually asking their students to go back to classrooms after it became obvious that there is no end in sight to the protracted strike called by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
For months, students and parents have continued to lament as the industrial action by ASUU to press home their demands has paralyzed almost all public universities in the country.
Academic activities have been suspended by the union for over 200 days over the alleged failure of the federal government to meet all its demands, which include a call on the government to conclude the process of renegotiating the 2009 FGN/ASUU Agreement, deploy the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), pay outstanding arrears of Earned Academic Allowances (EAA), release agreed sum of money for the revitalization of public universities (federal and states), address proliferation and governance issues in the state universities, settle promotion arrears, release withheld salaries of academics, and pay outstanding third-party deductions.
However, students in some state universities have been fortunate to receive lectures owing to the fact that the ASUU in their institutions either pulled out of the strike or didn’t join because of an internal crisis.
Auwal Ismail, a lecturer in one of the state universities in Kano, said he sees no reason to be on strike.
“Honestly state universities have no reason to go on strike because it is the responsibility of their governments to pay salaries, provide infrastructure, and support research. The leadership of the universities could also use their influence to attract grants.
“I am not happy that we keep our students at home for months. State universities must appreciate the fact that anything that comes their way from the federal government or TETFUND is just a bonus.
“ASUU is only using our names to augment its numerical strength and that is all…I think this is the time for those of us teaching in state universities to have a re-think. Some lecturers are still collecting salaries from the state government while on strike. This is double standard,” he said.