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

Arab League Delays Forming Joint Force

Delay grows out of one of original obstacles facing pan-Arab force, analysts say: 'They may agree on the principle, but they continue to argue about how to implement the project' More

Pakistan Demands Afghanistan Protect Its Kabul Mission, Staff

Officials in Islamabad say Afghan agents are harassing Pakistani embassy personnel, particularly those living outside of mission’s compound More

US Survey: Trump Lead Grows in Republican Presidential Contest

Quinnipiac University poll shows brash billionaire real estate mogul with 28 percent support among Republican voters 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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs