Just as I watched each day go by, wanting it to end, I watched the darkness stride forward. Noise, by my roommates, woke me quite early that bright morning as the end of Harmattan Semester Examination was encroaching. Just like every other morning, I rummaged for my phone to see if there was any new email or other notification; surprisingly, I saw a link on ASUU strike and what I thought was going to end during the course of our Mid-Semester Break had lingered on till this moment.
To what had kept us home this long: the Federal Government have been said to be unable to meet the demands of the Academic Staff Union of Universities which it agreed to in 2009. While the Federal Government had been said to have met parts of the agreement, the Academic Staff Union of Universities are hell bent on the fulfillment of all sections, up till the minutest of details, contained in the agreement as that is the only condition that could make them return to the classrooms.
Both parties believe that all they're each doing is in the best interest of the nation. At a point, I asked, why is the Federal Government negotiating what it agreed on? Also, why does it seem like ASUU do not appreciate the effort of the Federal Government? Till this moment, I have only been able to answer such questions with other questions; questions like, when you are right, should you be radical? This makes me wonder what would happen to the foundation of our nation which is the education of its youths.
It is said,"train up a fig tree in a way it should grow and when you are old you can sit under its shade." In this case, the students are the fig tree; the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) are those who should train the fig tree so that they can sit under its shade when the time is right. You can imagine how cool the shade of a tree that has been beaten by the sun, all year, deprived of water, would be. Yet, even as I write, I hear time's winged chariot hurrying near, the clock ticking, unperturbed by the reality that the students have been left 'almost' handicapped on this issue.
The calendar continues to flip, leaving me to recount what good have I added to myself? Even if I could reply time on what good I have added to myself outside the classroom, what do I tell time of what I should have learnt in the classroom which is also pertinent? However, to my colleagues, I would say, never allow yourself to be a victim. The grave is a cool place but definately none of us wish to be there, soon, or even, at all.
Just as the 'break' allows us wake when we deem fit, play and have fun the whole day, let us find things we can do to improve our lives, adding to ourselves what the classroom cannot add to us. In conclusion, an author once wrote, "if a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted or Shakespeare wrote poetry; he should sweep the street so well that all the host of Heaven and Earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job so well." As you point accusing fingers to those involved in this issue, have you asked yourselves how well you have done little tasks you were given? Can we, one day, raise our voice and say,"yes! we did what we set out to do and we did it well?"