Despite the crisis in the sector, new students in universities across the country have already begun the registration process to begin a new academic calendar while the incumbent calendar is being stalled by the 5 month old ASUU strike.
Some of these new students who spoke to Vanguard Learning are apprehensive about being inducted into a university system bedeviled by incessant strikes. Ese Aigbodun, a fresher at the University of Lagos said: “I just hope it will change because I don’t think I can keep going through this kind of a thing every year. There is nothing exciting about an educational system that is faulty. It is rubbish, if I had my way I would go to one of the private Universities.”
Kayode Majekodunni has also begun his registration process into one of the nation’s Federal Varsities. He is in 100 level, but so are his counterparts who got admission a year ago. Not yet a matriculated student, he has begun to grow a thick skin in accordance with the shaky education sector. “I’m already trying to get used to the fact that there will be a lot of strikes during my time as an undergraduate. We have no choice; it is now a normal thing.”
Sarah Osarumwense is more excited about being an undergraduate than the prospect of a crisis prone educational career. “I am really looking forward to resuming school,” she says “I’ve been home for way too long and honestly I’m frustrated. I can’t wait to resume, have my first lecture, and start complaining of wicked lecturers. I just want to have the feeling of being an undergraduate.”
It would be recalled that ASUU has earlier in the strike, condemned the National Universities Commission (NUC) for putting pressure on University Vice Chancellors to conduct Post-United Tertiary Matriculation Examinations (Post-UTME) in the wake of the strike. The National Treasurer of the Union, Dr. Ademola Aremu opined that the screening exercise embarked upon by universities is questionable because the Academic staff is not involved. Aremu said: “Some universities are inviting external consultants and deploying members of the non academic staff to examine Post-UTME. This puts a question mark on the authenticity of such results.”
The ASUU-Ibadan zone co-ordinator, Dr. Adesola Nassir had also told newsmen earlier, that universities, who have embarked on Post-UTME screening exercises during the strike, will definitely face crises caused by such an action in the future. He said: “NUC through its executive secretary has been putting pressure on Vice Chancellors to undermine our struggle in the name of certain deadlines in our calendar, especially the admission of fresh students.
Regrettably, some of the Vice Chancellors have fallen for their antics and have conducted post-UTME screening, even when they know that the exercise if for matriculation and hence academic. These Vice Chancellors, have by their actions, debased their own personality, confirmed themselves pathetically as either pawns to political maneouverings or simply too meretricious to live beyond pecuniary gains in the interest of our nation