In Nigeria, Universities are currently on strike and it is a result of the federal government failing to meet the demands of the Nigerian academic union known as the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). The ongoing strike began on February 14th, 2022 in what has become an annual occurrence.ASUU has decided to continue with the strike until they reach an agreement with the Federal Government. All educational activities have been suspended nationwide due to the ongoing strike, which has negatively impacted students throughout the nation.
Girls around the nation are greatly impacted by this ongoing strike. Students plead with the federal government to consider accelerating the negotiations that have resulted in the continued strike action and they ask the federal government to hasten negotiations and take the reopening of universities into consideration. Nigerians are tired of the ongoing, annual strikes, many students are losing interest in education and if the situation is not handled properly, students, especially female students, may lose focus in life, by deciding to get married before they are ready, some may experience unintended pregnancies, some might be forced to engage in immoral lifestyle and social vices, some may even become victims of domestic violence and this may result in the termination of their education.
This prolonged strike is brain draining and constitutes a setback in the pursuit of education for girls thereby causing the students to spend more years than they should in the university and when they finally graduate, age is no longer on the students’ side and they get turned down by employers for some job positions because they must have exceeded the age limit for those jobs.
However, some female students have taken the opportunity to develop themselves by learning new skills like fashion designing, makeup, baking, etc. while others make money and some finish up their unfinished school work.
These were some of the responses from an interview conducted by the education coordinator of Strong Enough Girls Empowerment Initiative.
Merit started learning how to do art crafts and make-up in order to raise money for her studies and she is enjoying it. She added that the strike should continue so she can make enough money before classes resume.
Annabel said that the strike had prevented her from finishing her four-year degree in time for graduation and that she had instead spent five years studying.
Joyce said that in order to keep herself busy and to get out of the house every day, she began marketing in a fabric store.
Shola is taking a course in fashion design. She claims that because she can earn a lot of money from her new skill, she has lost interest in going to school. Even after graduating from the University, she is not positive that she would find a suitable career, so why stress when she doesn’t even know if she will get a good job when she graduates from college?
Florence is waiting to be mobilized for the mandatory youth service scheme, NYSC. She continues to pay the rent for an accommodation she does not reside in.
Nigerian students who are suffering the effects of the ongoing strike, are stuck at home and long to return to school. All concerned Nigerians hope the strike ends quickly so that students can resume their studies.
As a Nigerian student, how has the ongoing strike impacted you?!!
SEGEI supports girls to stay in school and pursue higher education by providing school supplies and academic scholarships. Your contribution will go a long way toward ensuring that girls in underserved communities have equal access to a better future.
Kindly support Strong Enough Girls’ Empowerment Initiative (SEGEI) to promote girls education in Nigeria and across Africa by donating to the course of the program via;
🍰United Bank for Africa (Nigeria): Strong Enough Girls’ Empowerment Initiative -1022180523
🍰PayPal (International): info@Strongenoughgirls.org