The prolonged strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has opened a new chapter for many university students who have been forced to stay home for about three months.
There has been no eagerness on the part of the lecturers to call off the strike despite some overtures by the Federal Government to appease them, including the payment of their withheld salaries and arrears of minimum wage.
On the other hand, the Academic Staff of Polytechnics, ASUP, has called off its strike, while directing members to resume work with immediate effect after receiving some payments from the administration. In the circumstance in which students have found themselves since the strike was declared on February 14, 2022, many have opted to do some unusual chores to get themselves busy pending the resolution of the strike.
Arewa Voice spoke to some of the students of Taraba State University, who bared their minds on the current situation and their next course of action. While some have decided on what to do others are contemplating job hunting. A cross section of the students, who spoke, indicated that they had taken to some menial jobs in order to keep themselves busy and add value to their lives, while waiting for their lecturers to call off the strike.
One of the students, Precious Okechukwu, who has since left the school campus and now with her parents, said she had adopted farming as her means of survival. Arewa Voice met her working on a cassava farm where she now spends most of her time.
“I cannot keep sleeping at home when government is not ready to listen to the striking lecturers who have also refused to call of their strike. I have to find a way to keep myself busy till whenever we are called back to school. I am not happy about the delay but there is nothing I can do about it,” Precious said.
Another student, Peace Jewah, who is also a part-time farmer, told AV that she is currently searching for another side hustle because farm work is tedious. Jewah said, “I just left the farm where I was working with my mother. It’s not easy as you can see from the way my hands are.
“I am currently looking for a temporary job not as tedious as farm work till this three months’ extension would be over. “I am currently in my final year and with the way this strike is going, we might not go for NYSC as we planned.”
Temidayo Akinwumi, who is now working as a graphics designer in Jalingo, on her part said she was considering switching from regular programme to distant learning. “I am finding this work interesting and I think I want to change to distance learning. I am making money with my skill and I need a flexible school schedule which my regular programme would not permit.
“I have done my findings and I am resolute about switching to a distance learning programme so I can do my work and also study at the same time,” Akinwumi said
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