Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Strike's Over!

Life for Nigerian public university students will change tomorrow as they begin classes after a nearly five month strike. I've heard shouts of 'praise God' and 'great news' from students who want to get on with their educations. Frequent strikes push back graduation dates; it took one Faith Alive doctor eight years to finish a six year degree!

The students have spent their time off volunteering, working temporary jobs, helping their families farm, and for those fortunate enough to be internet-savvy and have access to computers, playing lots of computer games (you know who you are, Mafia Wars star!).

Lecturers (including Dr. Chris) will now carry a double load as they finish teaching the classes that were interrupted AND begin teaching new ones. The pay they continued to receive during the strike wasn’t much of a consolation for all the disruptions and unknowns. They still had to do necessary administration and research work. One student I know didn’t see any admin work being done – nobody would give her an official transcript so she was prevented from starting a Master’s program in the United States this fall.

Also, Dr. Chris planned to take a sabbatical this school year from Jos University Teaching Hospital so he could spend full days at Faith Alive. Now he won’t be granted time off for that or travel. Makes it hard to plan your life when you’re at the mercy of strikes.

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