History Of Asuu Strike In Nigeria Causes And Effects

History of ASUU Strike in Nigeria: Causes and Effects

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is a union that represents academic staff in public universities in Nigeria. The union was established in 1978 with the aim of promoting excellence in higher education and improving the welfare of academic staff. However, over the years, the union has been known for its frequent strikes, which have disrupted academic activities in universities across the country.

The history of ASUU strikes in Nigeria dates back to 1988, when the union embarked on its first strike to demand equitable salary and autonomy for Nigerian universities. The strike lasted for three months and was eventually called off after the government agreed to meet some of the union’s demands.

Since then, ASUU has embarked on several strikes over the years, with the longest strike lasting for over six months in 2018. These strikes have been a major source of concern for students, parents, and other stakeholders in the education sector, as they have led to the loss of academic time and disrupted the academic calendar of universities.

 

Historical Background

Formation of ASUU

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) was formed in 1978 as a result of the need to address the poor working conditions and welfare of university lecturers in Nigeria. The union was formed with the aim of promoting academic excellence, defending the rights and welfare of its members, and contributing to the development of education in Nigeria.

Early Strikes and Demands

In 1981, ASUU embarked on its first nationwide strike to demand for better working conditions and the implementation of the 1979 Federal Government-ASUU agreement. The strike lasted for three months and resulted in the signing of a new agreement between the Federal Government and ASUU.

However, subsequent governments failed to implement the agreements reached with ASUU, leading to several strikes by the union. In 1988, ASUU embarked on a national strike to demand for fair wages and university autonomy. The strike was called off in 1990 after the government agreed to meet some of ASUU’s demands.

In 1992, ASUU embarked on another nationwide strike to demand for the implementation of the 1990 agreement. The strike lasted for five months and was called off after the government agreed to implement some of the demands.

Since then, ASUU has embarked on several strikes to demand for better working conditions, adequate funding of universities, and the implementation of agreements reached with the government. The most recent strike by ASUU lasted for nine months, from November 2020 to May 2021, and was called off after the government agreed to meet some of the union’s demands.

Overall, the history of ASUU strikes in Nigeria reflects the challenges faced by the education sector in the country, including inadequate funding, poor working conditions, and the failure of successive governments to implement agreements reached with stakeholders in the sector.

 

Major Strikes and Government Responses

1990s Democratic Transitions

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has a long history of strikes in Nigeria. During the transition from military to democratic rule in the 1990s, ASUU embarked on a number of strikes to demand better funding for universities and improved working conditions for lecturers. These strikes were often met with resistance from the government, which saw them as a threat to stability.

2000s: Prolonged Strikes

In the 2000s, ASUU embarked on a series of prolonged strikes that lasted for several months at a time. These strikes were often caused by disagreements between the union and the government over funding for universities and the implementation of agreements reached during previous strikes. Despite the efforts of both sides to resolve these issues, strikes continued to occur on a regular basis.

During this time, the government often responded to ASUU’s demands with promises of increased funding and the implementation of agreements. However, these promises were often not fulfilled, leading to continued strikes and disruptions in the academic calendar.

2010s: Renewed Agitations

In the 2010s, ASUU continued to agitate for better funding for universities and improved working conditions for lecturers. Strikes during this period were often caused by disagreements over the implementation of agreements reached during previous strikes, as well as the failure of the government to meet the union’s demands.

The government’s response to these strikes was often mixed. While some officials acknowledged the importance of improving funding for universities, others saw ASUU’s demands as unreasonable and disruptive. Despite the challenges faced by both sides, ASUU continued to press for improvements in the education sector, leading to a number of strikes and disruptions in the academic calendar.

In conclusion, ASUU has a long history of strikes in Nigeria, with major strikes occurring during the transition from military to democratic rule in the 1990s, prolonged strikes in the 2000s, and renewed agitations in the 2010s.

Despite the challenges faced by both sides, ASUU has continued to press for improvements in the education sector, leading to disruptions in the academic calendar and a need for ongoing dialogue between the union and the government.

 

Impacts of Strikes on Education

Academic Calendar Disruptions

ASUU strikes have had severe consequences for students and the education sector in Nigeria. One of the most significant impacts of these strikes is the disruption of the academic calendar. The prolonged industrial actions have led to the delay of academic sessions, which has resulted in students spending more time in school than necessary. This disruption has had a ripple effect on students’ academic performance, as they have to cover more materials within a shorter period.

The disruption of academic calendars has also affected the quality of education in Nigeria. The gaps in the academic sessions have led to the loss of valuable time that could have been used for research, practicals, and other academic activities. This loss of time has resulted in a decline in the quality of graduates from Nigerian universities.

Economic and Social Implications

The economic and social implications of ASUU strikes cannot be overemphasized. The instability in the academic calendar has led to a decline in the value of degrees obtained from Nigerian universities. This decline has made it challenging for graduates to compete favorably in the labor market, both locally and internationally.

The strikes have also affected the social life of students and their families. The prolonged industrial actions have resulted in students staying at home for extended periods, which has put a strain on family finances. The cost of education has increased due to the need for students to spend more time in school, leading to a decline in the number of students who can afford to attend university.

In conclusion, the impacts of ASUU strikes on education in Nigeria have been severe. The disruptions of academic calendars have affected the quality of education and the value of degrees obtained from Nigerian universities. The economic and social implications of these strikes have also had far-reaching consequences. The Nigerian government must find a lasting solution to the issues raised by ASUU to avoid further disruptions to the education sector.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the origins and reasons for the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strikes in Nigeria?

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) was formed in 1978 as a union for academic staff members of Nigerian universities. The union was formed to address issues such as poor funding, inadequate infrastructure, and poor working conditions for academic staff members. ASUU has gone on strike many times over the years to demand better working conditions and funding for universities in Nigeria.

How many times has ASUU gone on strike since its inception?

ASUU has gone on strike many times since its inception in 1978. The union has gone on strike over issues such as poor funding, inadequate infrastructure, and poor working conditions for academic staff members. The number of times ASUU has gone on strike is difficult to determine as the strikes have been intermittent and have varied in duration.

What was the duration of the longest ASUU strike in Nigerian history?

The longest ASUU strike in Nigerian history was the 2013 strike which lasted for five months. The strike was called to demand the implementation of the 2009 agreement between the union and the Nigerian government. The agreement was meant to address issues such as funding, infrastructure, and working conditions in Nigerian universities.

Can you provide a timeline of the significant ASUU strikes in Nigeria?

  • 1992: ASUU embarked on a six-month strike over issues such as funding and working conditions.
  • 1999: ASUU went on a five-month strike over issues such as funding and working conditions.
  • 2009: ASUU went on a three-month strike over issues such as funding and working conditions.
  • 2013: ASUU went on a five-month strike over issues such as funding and working conditions.
  • 2020: ASUU went on a nine-month strike over issues such as funding and working conditions.

What were the outcomes of the 2013 ASUU strike in Nigeria?

The 2013 ASUU strike was called to demand the implementation of the 2009 agreement between the union and the Nigerian government. The strike lasted for five months and resulted in the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the union and the government. The MoU addressed issues such as funding, infrastructure, and working conditions in Nigerian universities.

When did the first university strike by ASUU take place in Nigeria?

The first university strike by ASUU took place in 1981. The strike was called to demand better working conditions and funding for Nigerian universities. Since then, ASUU has gone on strike many times over the years to demand better working conditions and funding for universities in Nigeria.

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