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ASUU: Parents lament economic crunch as students resume

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This week, college students are going back to class, and their parents are very worried about the tough economic times they will face.

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The Academic Staff Universities Union, or ASUU, called off its eight-month strike last week, according to the 460PLAY.

All of the universities in the union are expected to start classes again on Monday, October 17, 2022. The university system will have lost a whole session because of the strike.

When they talked to 460PLAY on Sunday, some parents and guardians in Uyo, the capital of Akwa Ibom State, had different ideas.

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One woman, Mrs. Hannah Obi, whose son is a second-year engineering student at Micheal Okpara University, was happy that the strike was finally over, but she was sad that it was happening at a time when things in the country were very hard.

She said that the cost of living is much higher now than it was eight months ago. She also said that the prices of goods and services have skyrocketed, making it very hard for her to raise enough money in three days to send his ward back to school.

“Yes, I’m glad that ASUU has called off the long strike,” she said. Because of the strike, a child who was supposed to graduate by now is still in school. The problem is that I don’t want him to go back right now because the cost of living there is high and as a parent you have other things to do.

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“If Nigeria is a country where things work as they should, no one should be complaining about not having enough money to send their child back to school, since it is a legal requirement.”

Also speaking, Patrick Effiong said that planning is important for a child’s education. He said that he had saved some money for a rainy day but lost it last week because of things that were out of his control.

Effiong said that the only thing left for him to do was to borrow money from money lenders at a small interest rate so that he could send his kids back to school on Monday. He said he hoped to pay the money back by the end of November.

“I have to plan everything that has to do with my charges’ education. Since ASUU has been on strike for over eight months, it is my job as a parent to get ready for the day when the strike will end.

“With the little money I saved, some needs came up that had to be met, but I couldn’t tell my child, whom I wanted to go back to school, that I didn’t have enough money to do so. I had to borrow money to meet their needs.”

“Again, even though things are hard, it is a sacrifice because as parents, education is the most important thing you can give your children,” he said.

Also talking, a woman named Mrs. Mary Tom said that she gets a salary and that the date the strike ended was not good for her because her salary had already been spent.

She told her boss that she wanted to get a salary advance so she could send her child back to school.

“As a person, I am glad that the strike has ended because I have other children to care for. Even though I knew the strike would end at some point and saved money for that day, family needs kept coming up and we had to spend the money.

She said, “I don’t want my kids to stay home until the end of the month, so I’ll get a salary advance to help us make ends meet.”

But even though parents are having trouble paying for their kids to go back to school right now, they are still glad that the strike is over.

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