Academic journal article Ife Psychologia

Perceived Influence of Industrial Action by University Employees on Academic Achievement of Undergraduates in Makurdi Metropolis

Academic journal article Ife Psychologia

Perceived Influence of Industrial Action by University Employees on Academic Achievement of Undergraduates in Makurdi Metropolis

Article excerpt

Introduction

The issue of declining academic achievement of students in Nigerian universities has become an issue of concern among stakeholders in Nigeria. The quality of education and performance of students depends on the teachers as reflected in the discharge of their duties. Over time students' academic achievement in both internal and external examinations had been used to determine the effectiveness of teachers and teaching (Ajao, 2001). This was buttressed by Ogunsaju (2004) that the academic standard of students in all Nigerian educational institutions has fallen considerably below societal expectations. This according to most researchers is as a result of disruptions in academic programmes as a result of industrial action (strike). This disruption occurs when academic activities are substantially interrupted or impeded as a result of strike action (York University, 1996). According to Kazeem and Ige (2010), disruption in academic program resulting from strike leads to closure of schools for a period of time. This period may be defined to be specified or indefinite. Both, explains that at such periods, no academic activity takes place at schools and upon resumption students in most times are denied opportunity to make up for lost times

In the developed world, mixed evidence exists on the perception of industrial action its influence on academic achievement of students. In the United States, for example, average negative effects of union membership on high school dropout rates are found (Hoxby, 1996). Yet positive effects on college entrance scores are identified by Grimes and Register (1991) for black American students. It is argued that unions and specifically teacher unions contribute to 'quiet corruption', undermining efficiencies in the production of education in some parts of the world as they alter the rules of the game and capture gains at the expense of the intended beneficiary (World Bank, 2010). There is little empirical evidence, however, in this regard with the exception of work by Kingdon and Teal (2010), who identify negative effects of union membership in India on grade ten student achievement scores.

In the developing countries especially African countries, educational sector especially universities, polytechnics and colleges of education have thus suffered tremendous setbacks as a result of lecturers' strike actions. This has always subjected the students to pitiable conditions, disrupting academic programs, giving students' undeserved extension in their study years, poor students' concent ration on academic programs and poor teacher-student relationships amongst others (Obateru, 2013). Consequently, students' academic achievement has comparatively become so low while various forms of examination malpractice are on the increase.

In the Nigerian universities, strike actions by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) which is an organized body of university teaching staff have had serious negative impact on the academic achievement of the students. Most student counts their ordeal especially in the recent strike by ASUU in 2014 that lingered for six months as exemplified by Ukah Emele, a 400 level student of the University of Jos and Philip Ekigwe, a student of University of Lagos who stressed that, the strike has devastated them emotionally putting a cog in the wheel of their dreams.

As students in higher institutions of learning in Nigeria continue to count their ordeal as a result of strike action, Benue State is not an exception. For the Blueprint (2014), the present state of education in Benue State is unacceptable. It is unfortunate that despite the presence of men and women of "timber and calibre", "the political juggernauts", and "caterpillars and bulldozers", Benue is in this state of anomie. It is worrisome because most times, it takes the government longer time to resolve issues with the teachers and lectures and this has led to delay in graduation, indulging in pitiable acts by students to cease the advantage of idleness and are found committing series of crime (Blueprint 2014). …

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