When the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) suspended the nine-month-old strike last December, it was sheer relief for students who have been bored with endless stay at home. Thus, parents forgot the recent second wave of COVID-19 now hanging on the country like the sword of Damocles. The happiness of their children leaving for school very soon suffused their heart.
Overjoyed students and parents might not see the pandemic as a barrier to resumption, perhaps they don’t care.
Another issue is that many students have lost the passion for learning. Now with the second wave of COVID-19 transmission,more students would find learning inconsequential.
Therefore, a large percentage of students will find it burdensome to maintain their academic standard. Many will fail even with help because a large number has lost hope in the academia while others will hang on because of the love for certificates.
Interestingly, COVID-19 has exposed many students to the harsh realities of life after school. No job.Bleak future. Thus, they ventured into other projects and forgot conventional education.
If students slam government or ASUU from now till eternity, the former is not ready to compensate the students for their patience and perseverance. On the other hand, Prof. Ogunyemi had acknowledged the parents and students.
As the coronavirus continues to ravage the country,incorporating virtual learning to recover the wasted period will amount to nothing because of poor infrastructure.Most schools lack e-learning facilities.
Importantly, many students need mental health guidance. Only a relieved and settled mind can read and assimilate. To help students, mental health trainings will boost concentration levels, improve their ability and help to maintain good lnteraction among their colleagues and lecturers.
The strike has been called off, but the fear in every student returning to school, particularly in the North is worrisome. The fear of death and kidnapping, the fear of hunger after resumption. Even if the parents are happy that their children are going back to school, are they also happy that the school is not safe? Safety matters very much.
Again, the strike was suspended conditionally, a signal to another possible strike in a few months, if the conditions agreed upon are not met by the Federal Government. When are students going to rest and stop panicking over the ASUU strike?
Students will always be at the receiving end of the battle between ASUU and government. Thus,it will not be out of place to suggest that if should help the students with palliatives,while ASUU assures them of smooth academic activities.
Kolawole is a final year student of English Language at Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto.