With the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, on strike for the fifth month, some public universities in the country may consider canceling an academic session and combining the 2021 and 2022 admissions processes.
In addition, Vanguard’s investigation revealed that more candidates performed well in this year’s Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, or UTME, than in the previous year.
Checks across some universities also revealed that the majority of them are waiting for the various staff unions’ industrial actions to be called off before deciding on the next course of action.
The situation may make admission into public universities a serious battle for applicants this year.
How strike may affect session/admission
Remember that the University of Ibadan had to cancel an academic session during the COVID-19 lockdown and ASUU’s nine-month strike in 2020, while the University of Lagos merged the 2020 and 2021 admissions.
Vanguard investigations revealed that the University of Jos, for example, has a backlog of admissions for the 2021/2022 session that has yet to be cleared.
Mr. Abdullahi Abdullahi, Deputy Registrar, Information and Publications, Vice Chancellor’s Office, confirmed the development.
“We have a peculiar case, we have the COVID-19, the crisis in Jos, and the ASUU strike,” he said.
He did, however, state that the management would not meet until the strike was called off to determine the next course of action.
Mr Tunji Oladepo, Director of Public Communications, Office of the Vice Chancellor, University of Ibadan, stated that the 2021/2022 academic session was already underway when the strike began, and that everything would be clear when the university reopened for academic activities.
According to Mr Abiodun Olarewaju, Public Relations Officer at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, the management has yet to decide what to do and that the decision will be made after the strike is called off.
“I cannot speculate whether the school will cancel a session or not, but what I am sure of is that we will see through the current session that was ongoing before the commencement of the strike.
When we resume, the school will take the right decision”.
Expressing similar sentiment, the Head of Media, UNILAG, Mrs Abimbola Ojo, said whatever is going to be the next step is dependent on the management and would come when all industrial actions are called off.
Though President Muhammadu Buhari recently directed that the standoff between the government and ASUU and other unions be resolved as soon as possible, indications are that there is still a long way to go.
The report of the government-appointed committee led by Prof. Nimi Briggs to renegotiate the 2009 Agreement was set aside by the government, which has yet to offer the striking workers anything.
The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, is planning a two-day solidarity rally in support of ASUU, and ASUU’s National Executive Council has set August 1 as its meeting date.