The Academic Staff Union of Universities ASUU has over the weekend kicked against school reopening in Nigeria amidst coronavirus pandemic.
ASUU chairman, Prof. Ayo Akinwole, in a statement made available to newsmen, monitored by Citi News, said that before COVID-19 pandemic, public varsities were over-crowded with students and hostel facilities took more than its capacity and cautioned parents not to jubilate at the news of a possible reopening of schools.
In his words, “What we are simply saying is that the Federal Government should adhere to their own set guidelines. Our position as a responsible union in all these is that throwing schools open in the midst of all these, is an open invitation to the tragic explosion of the COVID-19 scourge on a scale never witnessed anywhere since its outbreak,” he said.
He went further to state that the union was aware that there had been agitations from some quarters for the government to reopen schools.
He noted that those leading the campaign were proprietors of private universities.
ASUU is not in any way opposed to this call. However, Nigerians should honestly interrogate this position. Has the Nigerian government met the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) criteria on COVID – 19 protocols in our institutions? COVID-19 pandemic is still very much with us. It is in recognition of this fact that the government itself has rolled out certain conditions to be met before schools are reopened.
How many of our public institutions can confidently vouch for the safety of our children given the available facilities such as the provision of running water for hand washing; social distancing among students, the use of recommended face masks and shields, which are key components of NCDC protocols?” he added.