The new battles for Nigerian undergraduates



The prolonged strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the coronavirus pandemic have put students in public universities in a dilemma from which the students may not recover soon. The nation is facing another round of economic recession which has further pushed up inflation with prices of goods and services skyrocketing and beyond the reach of many Nigerians.

People are now in an excessive scarcity of money. Monetary problem is the first problem the students will face as they resume today, after spending 225 days (10 months) out of school. Most of the students’ belongings would either be damaged, spoiled, stolen, or have become obsolete. So there is a need to replace them.

First, there will be an academic battle. The students should prepare for this battle because they will meet a lot of problems. I know most of the students have stopped reading their books and handouts. Thus, they will, academically, resume unprepared and they will have to re-read, remember and retain what they were taught before the commencement of the ASUU strike as well as the coronavirus pandemic. Some institutions will continue writing the first semester examination, while other institutions that are yet to start examinations may continue with the lectures, registrations and other academic activities.

There will be impromptu tests, assignments, and other continuous assessment activities. The academic calendar of the various institutions will be amended and shortened, and the students must get ready for this.

Secondly, students residing in the campus (hostel) will meet another battle, their food items are spoiled and some of the items would have expired they would also have lost some valuable items as a result of rodents invasion to their allocated rooms in the hostel. The students will also be saddled with responsibility to clean their rooms, chase the cobwebs and the dust out.  

Students residing at off-campus (Off-K) situations will be the most deteriorating because they might meet their rooms or houses scattered, burgled and their properties stolen due to the encroachment made by unknown hoodlums or gangs(s). But if they are lucky that people are around or living in the area and there is adequate security their belongings are safe. I pray no any student room or house is burgled. Rodents and other pests may have destroyed some of their properties.

Landlord disturbance is also another battle to fight. Some rents of the students may have expired and there is need for them to renew their subscription for the rent. This is another impediment for the greatest Nigerians students in the Off-K (Off-Campus).

Thirdly, it will become an arduous task to maintain social distancing and abide by the Covid19 protocols. This is also another battle for not only the students but for the universities and the nation.

The concerned students should start preparation for their battles and the excruciating pains that await them as the outsiders will anticipate hearing different stories of their battles.

Aliyu Idris,

Department of English and Literary Studies, 

Bayero University, Kano.

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