2020 will forever be synonymous with the COVID-19 pandemic that disrupted the basic lifestyle of every sphere of human endeavours. The changes that resulted from the pandemic created two sets of people, the winners and the losers.
Obvious winners are technology companies whose stocks remain on the rise in the stock market. While students of Nigerian tertiary institutions fall in the category of losers as academic activities were halted for a period of 10 months.
Many of them automatically bagged an extra year as a result of the lengthy layoff that was caused by not only the pandemic, but also the strike action embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
The lack of resolution of the conflict between the government and the academic union for a long time slowed down the dreams of potential graduates, employment opportunities awaiting them, did I just say employment opportunities, well most present graduates are unemployed and it killed businesses of students that had their fellow students and varsity workers as primary customers.
Although ASUU and the Federal Government reached a truce that had the strike called off, there is no gainsaying the fact that students were big losers that had to suffer the consequences of the match between two elephants.
While It is just like the saying which goes while “two elephants fight the grass would suffer”. Well, there were mixed feelings after the strike was called off, while some students were happy to resume, many are not ready for the resumption and while students talked about and debated it they forgot that Uncle Corona is still around the corner.
Coronavirus was busy smiling while the strike was being called off, well the union and the government have decided that it is not safe to resume yet.
In the midst of this, the University of Lagos has decided to resume by offering lectures online. Is this not what all Nigerian Public Universities are supposed to be offering. After the resolution of the conflict with the Federal government, are there not supposed to be back up plans in order to change the current situation in which the educational system finds itself?.
Are the students going to have to wait for a miracle in order to resume?. We need solutions and answers cause an academic institution is meant to be a place that emphasis on thinking and not cramp and pour answers.
While the University of Lagos is worth emulating for its quick thinking, one needs to ask if the right mechanisms are in place to make these online classes work. How does the school intend to increase the motivation and ability to take the classes serious by the student? All these need to be considered before the launching of the online classes.