“Sir, I Have Moved On”
By Fola Adekeye
Our children are angry. They deserve to be. Suddenly, they are confronted by obstinate enemies of destinies.
Nothing is as bad as what our children are going through right now.
Last week, an SS1 student in the school where I teach creative writing told me he wanted to drop out of school.
Hear him: “Schooling is no longer rewarding. My brother won’t be returning to the university when ASUU calls off its strike. He has moved on. His eyes have opened to money and he is doing fine. I want to join him.”
I am still running him through counseling.
But, it is not only his brother that won’t be returning to schools when ASUU calls off this insensitive strike.
In the last two weeks, I have met 11 undergraduates who may never return to their universities after ASUU strike.
“I am no longer an undergraduate, Sir. ASUU has graduated me. After spending months to learn software engineering in Ikeja, I have started my own business. At present, Sir, I am a student of three online universities in the UK. I thank God for ASUU strike,” says John, a 200L computer science student.
Darin, a 300L agric science student, is now a busy fashion designer. Currently she and her mum got the “aso-ebi” contract for a big wedding coming up in Canada later this year.
“Honestly Sir, I don’t know where my books are. ASUU strike has opened my eyes. Let them keep their universities,” Darin told me.
Most disturbing to me was the “I-moved-on” response I got from a very good 400L law student. “Azeez, where have you moved on to?”
His answers made me fight back tears.
“A friend introduced me to his uncle in Ladipo Motor Parts Market. I signed up for a two year training. I will open my own shop after training. My boss gives me pocket money everyday. I am comfortable. I have moved on with my life.”
During this insensitive strike, only psychologically strong children are sustainably useful to themselves. ASUU strike has deeply traumatized many undergrads.
Parents are enjoined to treat this category of children with understanding, patience, love and generosity. Yes, generosity.
Don’t withhold their upkeep allowances. E dakun.
Be kind with words towards them, be less judgemental and don’t be too quick to shut them up or throw insults.
Our undergraduates are going through very difficult times. If you have been to any institution of higher learning, you should already know how frustrating ASUU strikes can be.
Our children will flourish and prosper with or without ASUU.