Maltreatment of Nigerian students

Nigeria, as they say, is our motherland. However, the mother, despite being the richest in Africa and most populous black nation in the world, has not been treating its students fairly. In the area of education, Nigeria has done not done much in fighting illiteracy. And less privileged Nigerians are always the victims of the neglect our schools are facing.

It is a known fact that a greater percentage of the children of the poor study in primary and secondary schools that are poorly funded which suffer weakened infrastructure, insufficient study materials and shortage of teachers.

After undergoing the aforementioned challenges, the children of the poor still find it difficult to gain admission into tertiary institutions. It is irritating that some aspirants do seek admission five to seven times before gaining it. This is not because they are not qualified but due to the limited number of universities, we have in Nigeria and godfatherism that mar the system.

After gaining admission into the university, one would think that is all. However, series of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU)’s strike, which becomes an annual festival, has been threatening not only students but the entire educational system. How can a student spend eight months without going to class? Is Nigeria a mother to its students? Does that mean no one from the public university will graduate this year?

I would like to make it clear that my piece is not supporting or condemning Federal Government or ASUU. The fact is that Nigeria as a country has failed its students. Unfortunately, those who are supposed to work towards the end of the strike are doing nothing.

It is surprising that they had an opportunity to study under a conducive environment during their days in the 20th Century but decided to kill education for the present generation. This, to me, is connected to the fact that most of their children are studying at private universities either in Nigeria or abroad. How would they feel if their children were at home for eight months due to a strike? Is it that their children are more Nigerians than the children of the poor?

Enough of this injustice! I call on all the concerned bodies to, as a matter of urgency, end the maltreatment of students in the name of strike. Let’s get our students back to class. They are Nigerians too.

Bilyaminu Gambo Kong-kol,

Kano.

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