News / Africa

Nigeria Tech Schools Join University Strike

FILE - Students and workers carry placards as they sit on the Lagos-Ikorodu highway to protest against the suspension of academic activities following a nationwide strike by lecturers in state-owned universities, Aug. 13, 2013 in Lagos.
FILE - Students and workers carry placards as they sit on the Lagos-Ikorodu highway to protest against the suspension of academic activities following a nationwide strike by lecturers in state-owned universities, Aug. 13, 2013 in Lagos.
Heather Murdock
As Nigeria’s university lecturers continue a nearly four-month-old nationwide strike, teachers at technical schools across the country have joined the fray, saying they won’t teach again until their demands are met.  
 
At a technical school on Monday, union leaders told lecturers: Go home, Delta State has joined the strike.

Technical school teachers officially went on strike October 4, but many local branches of the national polytechnic teachers union originally opted out.  However, most are now in.  
 
Teachers say in 2009 the government promised them better pay, infrastructure and more control of the activities on their own campuses, but has yet to make good on the promise.  
 
“If the polytechnics are well-funded, well taken care, grants are given to lecturers for research, we will do much more than what we are doing,” said Thomas Ojuye, a local union chief.

The technical school teachers are joining university lecturers, who went on strike nationwide on July 1.  

The government has since promised universities hundreds of million of dollars in additional funding but academic officials say the money has not been dispersed.
 
Meanwhile, the strike has become a political football in Nigeria, with opposition leaders slamming the federal government for allowing schools to remain closed.  This week, youth leaders from the National Association of Nigerian students called for the teachers to back down, saying their demands are “unrealistic and un-implementable.”
 
Students are mixed in their reactions, with many saying that low-paid teachers, dilapidated buildings and a lack of research funding are crippling their ability to get an education.   
 
Johnson Mohammad studies computer technology in Delta State.  He wants to graduate next year, but he says it's doubtful now, and has returned to his farm.  Still, he supports the teachers’ right to strike.
 
“Looking at it from their angle, they are fair because it’s to favor the polytechnics and also to favor the students,” he said.

Chris Onojeje, a former president of the National Association of Nigerian Students, says part of the problem is that the 2009 plan to upgrade universities and technical schools was not made with the current federal government headed by President Goodluck Jonathan.
 
“When the Jonathan administration came in, as it were, they ought to have fallen in line with the agreement of their predecessors,” he said.

Onojeje says the strike is also wasting money because in many parts of Nigeria, teachers are still getting paid.  And in the meantime, he says, young people in Nigeria - a country where most people live in abject poverty and there are few available jobs - are now out of the classroom with nothing to do.

Hilary Uguru contributed to this report from the Niger Delta.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Sani Ibrahim from: Fagge Kano Nigeria
October 20, 2013 5:00 AM
I'am appealing to the Federal government of Nigeria and ASSU to sit at the round table inorder to find a lasting solution to the problem as soon as possible

by: Anonymous
October 19, 2013 11:03 AM
govt suppose to do something about education bc education are fallen dawn.

by: Anonymous
October 19, 2013 6:10 AM
I'm a student of UNIBEN 200L and the strike has kept us at home for months now. I support the lecturers in that the state of the education system in Nigeria is very annoying and they have a right to demand for increase and improvement in standard.
Also i don't support the lecturers because we have been managing the standard like this for decades and now we the students are at the receiving end, missing classes, exams and at least let them resume and they can continue their demand from the federal government .
In Response

by: praiseken50 from: Bayelsa
November 06, 2013 7:07 AM
We should ask ASUU & ASUP leaders what dey have been doing with the school frees an order frees they have been collecting,in the season that there are thing that they should have don in the schools,federal government pls call the passed leaders let them give account of every thing.ASUP do more work then ASUU,pls gv ASUP dear Bsc

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs