The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is a union of university academic staff in Nigeria, the largest African population in Africa.
Since its founding in the 1970s, protecting the interests of the academic staff in all public universities in the country has been its goal, and fighting to continuously obtain fair earnings and standards and gaining university autonomy remains its mission.
ASUU has actively struggled with various military and non-military administrations while bettering the standards of human and academic entities, and the most common way it fights with the government is through a periodic line of warning strikes that usually proceeds on an indefinite strike, sometimes for very long months or years.
Its disagreements with the federal government, which are generally over money, have not been fully settled by both parties for decades.
As such, there is now an abnormal, suspended, or erratic type of learning because of institutional instability. Which could further lead to creating "educated" Nigerians for public and private employment with many of these men and women probably having unstable academic brains and bodies because of toxic, chronically disconnected learning patterns.
And how such inadequate people help grow the democratic and economic environment of a country becomes hard to understand.
How these minds and bodies establish themselves as quality contributors to workplaces such as health, education, technology, agriculture, aviation, law enforcement, security, and other areas of the economy, and contribute morally and healthily to governance and democracy, remains an open question.
There is this reality in life that humans understand; lost time and opportunities are never fully replaced. No nation, particularly Nigeria, which is generally and currently unhappy, suffering, apprehensive, insecure, and weary, will find solace in these apparent disconnected minds and bodies with their bored and frustrated backgrounds. However, there are alternatives with the existence of private higher education institutions that will ensure the effective and uninterrupted delivery of university education and personal steadiness.
I have my bias, which is simply due to the reality that a minority state like Edo, where gradual and sustained economic growth, service delivery, entrepreneurship development, and poverty reduction are on course, needs to move on from this ASUU and government wahala or disorderliness.
To this end, students of Edo State origin who are currently idle because their school is on strike should, along with their parents, families, or sponsors, become part of private universities, among which are: Benson Idahosa University, Benin City; Igbinedion University, Okada, Benin City; Mudiame University, Irrua, Edo State; Samuel Adegboyega University, Ogwa; Edo State; Wellspring University, Evbuobanosa, Edo State; and Philomath University, Kuje, Abuja.
In their private and independent capacities, these schools could provide the opportunity for students to continue and further their education. These private institutions can attract students from public universities with scholarships that are half the tuition and fees, supplemented by the universities. Leaders of private universities should develop financial programs such as merit- and need-based financial aid to attract more students to their institutions.
Students and their families can seek out private universities that have established foundations that get support through the generosity of donors who provide scholarship funding.
Nigeria, like many other countries in Africa, is marked by a lack of access to higher education, which is further compounded by ASUU and government fights. These private schools, in addition to the walls of their brick-and-mortar classrooms, should develop online education systems. The economic future of Nigeria's youths will continue to be hampered by ASUU’s lingering issues and crisis with the government, which further results in the continued paralysis of Nigerian public universities, leading to a delay in students’ graduation and employability.
As such, private universities, especially those mentioned here, should tell students and their families that their future will not be delayed by entry into their schools and other local private institutions.
John Egbeazien Oshodi, who was born in Uromi, Edo State in Nigeria, is an American based Police/Prison Scientist and Forensic/Clinical/Legal Psychologist. A government consultant on matters of forensic-clinical adult/child psychological services in the USA; Chief Educator and Clinician at the Transatlantic Enrichment and Refresher Institute, an Online Lifelong Center for Personal, Professional, and Career Development. He is a former Interim Associate Dean/Assistant Professor at Broward College, Florida. The Founder of the Dr. John Egbeazien Oshodi Foundation, Center for Psychological Health and Behavioral Change in African Settings In 2011, he introduced State-of-the-Art Forensic Psychology into Nigeria through N.U.C and Nasarawa State University, where he served in the Department of Psychology as an Associate Professor. Currently, a Virtual Behavioral Leadership Professor at ISCOM University, Republic of Benin. Founder of the proposed Transatlantic Egbeazien Open University (TEU) of Values and Ethics, a digital project of Truth, Ethics, and Openness. Over forty academic publications and creations, at least 200 public opinion pieces on African issues, and various books have been written by him. He specializes in psycho-prescriptive writings regarding African institutional and governance issues.
Prof. Oshodi wrote in via [email protected]