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Nigerian University Students Return to Classes After



From VOA Learning English, this is the Education Report.

Public universities in Nigeria have re-opened after a nearly six-month long strike by teachers. Repeated strikes can add months, even years, to the time it takes a student to finish a study program. Students at public universities across Nigeria say they are worried about exams and completing their project work. The Academic Staff Union of Universities, a labor group, suspended the strike in December.

Part of the settlement was a government promise to invest billions of dollars during the next five years in university buildings and equipment. The government said that soon 25% of the nation's budget will be spent on education. Some teachers say the strike was really about pushing the government to make Nigeria's universities better.

Laz Emetike is with Delta State University. He says the strike was not only to improve conditions for university teachers, but was meant to help everyone. He says better science laboratories and other improvements will let Nigeria compete with other parts of the world.

Countries throughout Africa, not just Nigeria, are considering how to answer the exploding demand for admission to universities. These countries must also improve academic values and requirements, and find ways to pay teachers enough to keep them.

Hundreds of thousands of students pass college entrance exams every year. But many cannot attend public universities because there are not enough classrooms or teachers. University lecturers say they will be watching to make sure their schools get, and effectively use, the money the Nigerian government has promised.