The ASUU strike could spark new conversations on virtual learning

by Uroupa Kiakubu

Constant strikes are some of the biggest challenges students in Nigeria’s federal tertiary institutions often have to endure. As the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) continues with its strike action, many of the affected students have taken to their Twitter handles to vent their frustrations on the issue. Going by the divergent views of the students, it seems like a question of whether, or not, learning from home is the more preferred option over classroom learning. Thereby, challenging the status quo of our educational system that is more focused on face-to-face learning as opposed to virtual learning. Could this be the beginning of a change in the dynamics of our educational system?

Tochukwu Emmanuel, a Twitter user echoes the sentiments of some Nigerian students in a Twitter post as he calls on ASUU to call off their strike so students can return to the classroom to resume academic activities.

On the other hand, some other students are of the opinion that learning from home is a better option, as their placards read.

COVID-19 has left open a sore in Nigeria’s educational system and there is, invariably, no political will to correct the ills. Besides political will, constant strike actions by Unions is crippling an already disabled system. However, COVID-19 has made students realise that education can also be gained from the comfort of their homes.

In Nigeria’s educational system, knowledge acquisition has always revolved around the classroom setting. But this cannot continue. The world has changed and Nigeria – a country still struggling with to grapple with the fourth revolution – needs to evolve and follow the trend.

Students are already pushing for more attention to be given to virtual learning and could spark conversations among relevant stakeholders to consider the need to incorporate this with traditional classroom learning for a more dynamic experience between students and teachers in Nigeria’s educational system.

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