Strike Actions and Students Academic Performance in Economics in Senior Secondary Schools

ABSTRACT: The study examined the Impact of strike actions and students academic performance in economics in senior secondary schools in Ukanafun Local Government Area. It adopted descriptive survey design. The sample for the study involved two hundred (200) students in five (5) selected senior secondary schools which were both male and female. The questionnaire designed by the researcher was used in the collection of data for the study. A four point scale of SA, A, SD, D were used to answer the research questions. The data collected from the respondents was analyzed using frequencies, table, and the figures were analysed using simple percentages. The results of the study revealed the prevalence of strike action, the causes of strike actions, the impact of strike actions and the strategies that can be put in place to reduce strike actions.

Strike Actions and Students Academic Performance in Economics in Senior Secondary Schools

Based on the findings, the researcher recommends that a strike free environment should be ensured for quality and conducive atmosphere for learning in schools, Government/teachers regulatory bodies such as NUT, ASSU, COEASU  Educational board  should be straighten for a quality education output, also schools supervisory personnel should be trained to avoid challenges which gradually lead to strike actions. Finally, the listed strategies to be put in place to reduce strike actions such as: regular payment of teachers salaries, strengthening of educational supervisory/monitoring bodies, organizing of educational programmes to improve government/staff relationship, proper design of curriculum should be considered in other to have a strike free environment.

CHAPTER ONE                                               


1.1       Background of the Study

The education sub-sector especially secondary schools in Nigeria has witnessed in recent times incessant closures due to strike actions. The impact of these repeated closures of schools on academic programmes can better be imagined than described. Secondary school education in Nigeria has thus suffered tremendous setbacks as a result of teachers’ strike actions (Kuper, 2016). This has always subjected the students to pitiable conditions, disrupting academic programs, giving students’ undeserved extension in their study years, poor students’ concentration on academic programs and poor teacher-student relationships among others. Consequently, students’ academic performance has comparatively become so low while various forms of examination malpractice are on the increase (Marshall, 2016). The situation has assumed such an alarming dimension that it transits to tertiary institutions (Ogbuka, 2010).

Presently, education in Nigeria has not been able to achieve the noble objective because it is in deep problems (Ojielo, 2012). Paramount among these problems is the incessant National Union of Teachers strike, which has often disrupted academic activities (Adetiba, 2013). Many reasons can be seen responsible for these incessant strikes by the NUT. Prominent among those problems according to NUT are funding, lack of autonomy and dehumanizing working conditions in trying to find a lasting solution to these problems, the long commission set up by the federal government recommended in their report a 90% funding level for next fifteen years 1992-2007 (Ogbuka, 2010).

The recommendations were adopted in the agreement between the federal government of Nigeria and the NUT unfortunately government reneged on the agreement. For instance, funding in 1996 should have been four times more than what was prescribed by the report, but fell short of this expectation because of government attitude towards funding education (Gouldner,  2013). The economic down turn and the foreign exchange rates did not help matters. Judging from the economic down turn, the review of the agreement which government bluntly turned down (Olaiya, 2010). Folioing this, there has been several strikes action by the Nigerian Union of Teachers since then this situation was further aggravated by the way government reacted to NUTS strike action (Adibe, 2019). Instead of engaging in meaningful dialogue with the teachers, the governments sacked some and even went as far as forcefully ejecting them from their official quarters (Oluwadare, 2018).

In addition to the humiliation, government refused to pay them their salaries and other entitlement. As a result of this, most teachers left for the private sectors while some others went to private schools in search of greener pastures (Comte, 2009). Some student’s looks to crime, while others also secured temporary employments and yet others get involve in street hawking and became juvenile delinquents (Olugbenga, 2011). The consequence of these strike actions has led to a condition fall in education standard (Adeniran, 2010).

The conflict between the federal government and teachers has been occurring intermittently in Akwa Ibom state secondary schools including Ukanafun Local Government Area, following from this, it becomes pertinent that a lasting solutions be formed through a comprehensive research on the impact of strike on the academic standard of students (Adesulu, 2012). This work intends to do this by drawing government attention to the various steps to be taken in order to eliminate these problems once and for all.

Strike Actions and Students Academic Performance in Economics in Senior Secondary Schools

1.2       Statement of the Problem

The demand of National Union of Teachers (NUT) and other academic unions in the Nigerian Secondary School is that government should fulfill an agreement it reached with them in 2009 on how to save the nation’s educational system from collapse. On the other hand, government is proposing a piecemeal selective approach. There is no doubt that education is too vital to the survival of any nation that it should be treated as a subject beyond politics or evasive polemics. It is not deniable that Nigeria is presently not doing enough, by world standards, in the funding of her children’s education. As far as the government is concerned, there are other competing items for the limited funds available and government is not doing enough in the infrastructural development of the Nigerian Educational Systems.

This has caused serious altercations between government and these academic unions including NUT resulting into persistent strike actions. The incessant strike actions by NUT and all these academic unions have eventually affected the academics standard of students; it usually poses a lot of challenges to their study duration, performance in examinations and their final result. The students are kept away from school for a long time; most of them are completely cut off from academics as conditions at home may not favor productive and rigorous academic exercise. The students and their parents become frustrated because of long expectation of school resumption that is far from sight. Some of the students while at home doing nothing get engaged in other things other than academics. In some cases they are easy recruits for criminal activities, such as armed robbery, kidnapping, and rape and on the other hand encourage cultism. This has made them a problem to the society peace and order in Nigeria. However the extent to which strike actions of schools staff especially NUT strikes affects student’s academic performance require a close examination and this research focus towards examining the impact of strike actions on the academic performance of students in Economics in secondary schools in Ukanafun Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.

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