Strike actions have become rife in the Nigerian labour force. Various unions and groups have continued to embark on strike actions across the country. According to Wikipedia, strike action is when a large number of workers stop working in protest. In academic institutions, it usually happens when staffs of the institution refuse to work, usually involving non-payment of salaries or administrative reasons. Industrial actions as it usually termed continue to claim significant space in the academic calendars of Nigerian Tertiary Institutions.
In 2016 alone, staffs of institutions such as the University of Ibadan, Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife have at one time embarked on industrial actions. Ladoke Akintola University of Technology – an institution with a known history of strike actions, still has its staff members on strike since June this year. The frequent protests across institutions in the country makes it necessary to examine its impact on our educational system. It becomes important to ask, how does strike affect our educational system?
Agreeably, industrial action in schools distorts academic plans and programs. It keeps students out of schools and makes them open to social vices and indolence. The trend of strike actions across Nigerian tertiary institutions has resulted in an inconsistent academic calendar system, as against a uniform system which would ease policy and decision making for the government, administrators, parents and the students.
Incessant strike actions culminate into the erosion of academic quality. Industrial actions rob off academic time from school administrators and upon resuming from strike; they tend to rush academic work. This might mean foregoing important part of course work, shortening semesters and in turn bombarding students with a laden of academic work with limited study time. This problem usually reflects in student performance. In the long term, embarking on Industrial action causes students to spend more than the statutory duration in school. This has a ripple effect on the employment pattern where age is an important consideration for entry level jobs.
Conclusively, although industrial actions are essential negotiation tool in organizations or institutions, a surfeit of it have severe implications on the system, in this case, our educational system. Since negotiations are part of institutional operations, it is recommended that administrators (usually the government, since most of these schools are government institutions) and staff members devise an effective communication and dialogue system that would help find solutions without resulting in striking because strike has become a common enemy of Nigerian academic institutions and its impact on our tenuous educational system is lethal.
This article was written by Ibironke Oluwatobi. He tweets via: @ibironketweets