By Idongesit Ashameri
A lecturer in the Department of Development Communication, in the recently created Faculty of Communication and Media Studies, University of Uyo, Christiana Chundung Pam has taken to sales of Potatoes for survival.
The Assistant Lecturer employed a year ago said she would continue in her new business in the next five years if that would be her sacrifice for the nation’s educational system to function effectively.
Speaking with our Correspondent who spotted the Lecturer showcasing her potatoes at Akpan Andem market, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State on Thursday, Pam said she took up the trade as last resort to sustain her existence.
Miss Pam who sells both in the market and around town, explained that she had a few months into the strike joined her retiree parents in farm work, with the hope to resume work as soon as possible.
Her expectations got dashed as the strike continues, even after harvest of the said crops, and with bills, including house rent at her station, pilling up. “I decided to join the potatoes selling business to have something for myself to keep me going. I had just started working for just a year and did not save enough to even pay my way back to Jos, having waited for some months for the strike to be called off.
“So to go back, I had to borrow from someone as I could no longer cope with daily survival and payment of bills. I also had to borrow to renew my rent for another six months for fear of losing my accommodation. That renewal will be expiring in October, so I had to find something to do to be able to renew it”. Pam said
The Plateau-born young lecturer, therefore, called on the Federal Government to seek ways to come to a lasting understanding with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to put an end to incessant cases of strike actions in the country.
She said she feels depressed by the number of students who call daily for updates on ongoing strike and their desires to return to school to be able to meet up with their dreams in life.
The Development Communications scholar cautioned that leaving a wide gap in-between academic activities was unhealthy for both students and lecturers as they would need some time to reboot their brains to fully pick up on academic exercise.
She however reiterated her earlier vow that “If it means selling potatoes for the next five years for Nigerian students to have a better academic environment and for lecturers to be well motivated to put in their best in moulding the future generation, then I would gladly do so”.