Many undergraduates are hopeful that the over four-month-old strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities may be called off this week.
Some of them who spoke to our correspondent on Monday said they look forward to resuming for academic activities, especially since some of them were preparing for their examination before the strike commenced.
A 400-Level Theatre Arts student of University of Abuja, Miss Ronke Adefalujo, said she was excited when she heard in the news that ASUU might call off the strike this week, because, according to her, she was preparing to sit for her final examination when the strike began.
She said, “I was to commence my final examination in August, before the strike began in July. In fact, the time table was already out, and I looked forward to graduating in September but that was not possible.
“However, as soon as the strike is called off, we might start with revision and sit for some tests. Maybe within three weeks, we might sit for the final examination.”
An undergraduate of Federal University of Technology, Minna, Tom Usen, noted that the signal that the strike might end this week portends a brighter future for the country. But he added that that was only if it would lead to the improvement of education.
The 500-Level Geology undergraduate, who said the institution was already in the middle of the semester before the ASUU strike commenced, explained that he ought to have rounded off his course by now if there has been no strike.
He said, “There is nothing I can do about the extension of time I and my colleagues in final year had to undergo. But I am hopeful that the ASUU strike might end this week.”
A music undergraduate of University of Uyo, Miss Eno Ekere, who said there was a crisis in that institution before the ASUU strike began, added that though she was hopeful, she preferred to adopt ‘wait and see’ stance for now.
“It is good news, and I am excited. But for now, I want to adopt ‘wait and see’ stance. In Nigeria, the way the government treats education is not all that encouraging. Children of commoners don’t really have any say,”she stated.
Indications emerged on Sunday that the ASUU may call off the over four-month-old on Thursday. THE PUNCH had reported that barring a last-minute change, the National Executive Committee of ASUU will meet on Wednesday night to consider the position of the congresses of the over 150 public universities on the offer made by the Federal Government to improve facilities in the institutions.
The union held a meeting with the Federal Government team led by President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday in the Federal Capital Territory.
After briefing the zonal coordinators on the offer, the ASUU leadership had directed the local branches to organise congress meetings between Friday last week and today (Tuesday).
This is to enable all lecturers to make an input into the action the union would take after its NEC meeting on Thursday.
However, feelers from most universities that have organised their congresses revealed that ASUU would suspend the strike after the Thursday meeting.