When we learnt ASUU called off the strike, we were excited. We all learned that we would be returning to school. It had been a long while we have been staying at home, yet schools were closed, waiting for government directives before any action would be taken. Since March, we had been doing nothing, waiting on FG & ASUU, coupled with Covid19 that befell us. There were a lot of ideas and things on student’s minds, which are ranging from: How would school reopen? Are we going to start an online class to complete the semester? Before the starting of ASUU strike and then COVID19, we were left with a few course outlines before exams started. But currently, from the looks of things, it is like we are finally free from the yoke of not knowing what the future holds. It’s a happy new year and 2021. Most schools have been able to resume in mid and late January.
The strike was called off at the beginning part of December and on January 25, the University of Lagos resumed online lectures across all faculty, employing modules and online resources to lecture students. Yet, we don’t know how positive or negative effect this would have on us. Many of us, especially those in the final year, is excited about being able to finally graduate when lectures begin. According to the DSA of the University of Lagos, lecturers are going to be dumping materials on the LMS site. There would be little or no virtual live videos where lecturers interact with students. We hope this is for the better of all of us. It also seems like everyone is spending an extra year in the varsity. Because we all had one year toppled to our resumptions.
The aftermath of the ASUU strike will put a halt to many plans for students. For almost a year since we began staying at home, many students have found solace in something tangible to work on in their lives, ranging from entrepreneurship, volunteering, etc… A lot have gotten employed in different sectors of the economy, while some have been self-employed. We have been trying through various aspects to navigate through the labour market.
At the University of Lagos, some of our examinations are taken online, most especially GST — General Studies. And they are marred with petty problems and complaints every year. The University hasn’t successfully run an online election same as hostel balloting without hiccups and overcrowding of the site. It calls for attention. In some cases, people don’t get to finish up before the computer logs them out. Every year, students have complaints concerning their online papers and there have been cases where their complaints were ignored; we are yet to know how the University of Lagos plans on regulating these irregularities. How our final results would be, to ensure they are not marred with irregularities. We don’t know if this would rather have a huge negative impact on our dream more than a positive impact. But we are excited we would not be at home for a further while, doing nothing.
We hope that many varsities that are employing online lectures would be able to consider students’ complaints as we navigate through them successfully. On our first resumption, the online site went off. We hope this is curbed quickly.
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Obinna Tony-Francis Ochem is a freelance writer, who navigates through gender, class, sexuality, climate change and shape shifting monsters. He is alumni of the Lolwe Fiction Workshop facilitated by Zukiswa Wanner and SpringNG '20 cohort writing mentorship programme. His works are published or forthcoming on Elseisy Blog, Kalahari Review, Rustintimes, LivingFreeUk, Punocracy Longlist '19 & 20, Tush Magazine essay finalist/winner, Chinụa Achebe Essay Anthology, SpringNG anthology, and The WorkBooth magazine. A finalist for Kalahari Review Igby Prize for Non-Fiction and longlisted for Second edition of Kitodiaries Prize for Literature. Also, a finalist for the '19 Quramo Writers' Prize for his manuscript, Deep Ocean, and Afire '19 Linda Ikeji Prize for Literature, for Living in the Ghetto. He is currently studying Marine Sciences at the University of Lagos and has a link to his works, https://linktr.ee/obynofranc. He tweets, @obynofranc.