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Why Tertiary Institutions Shouldn’t Reopen Until 2021

The number one priority of any man asides his spiritual journey, should be his health, every other thing becomes irrelevant, once health is compromised. Schools in Nigeria have been closed for almost 4 months now, the education of the kids and young adults in Nigeria has come to a sudden halt, many final year students, who had strong hope on completing their tertiary education by June and move on to serve their father land have had their hopes dashed. Some secondary school graduates, who wrote jamb in anticipation of resuming into a new academic year in any of the tertiary institutions across the country are still in their fathers house. All these dashed dreams and hope can frustrate almost any one, waking up almost everyday to have nothing to occupy you, constantly having to be in your parents company, trust me, I know how sickening such conditions can be. Even with all of this, I still solidly stand behind Academic Staff Union of Unversities (ASUU) in their decision to keep tertiary Institutions locked till 2021.

The clamor for the reopening of tertiary institutions is already getting out of hand, this is putting so much pressure on federal government to reopen schools, but despite all the clamor and pressure ASUU has decided that it will stand its ground. In a statement recently released by the body, they adviced federal government not to consider reopening schools until 2021. I see reason with these academic body, I feel the sole aim of such advice is to protect the lives and health of their members and that of the students.

Every one is acting like COVID19 is already a thing of the past, meanwhile, it is still transmitting among the citizens of Nigeria. Like I said in my opening statement, the importance of good health can never be over emphasized, any other thing takes second place when compared to health. The setting in our tertiary institutions promotes the spread of COVID19. Social distancing is next to impossible in our schools, especially the federal and state owned schools. If you’ve been to the 100 level science auditorium, in the University of Ibadan, University of Lagos and University of Ilorin, you will probably understand my point, the lecture auditorium are usually so stuffy and jam packed, many students end up standing all through the class or even stepping out, because of how chocked the lecture rooms are. Should I move on to the school hostels and cafeterias? How many students do you think are allocated to a single room on an average in our universities? The condition in our schools will make the rate of spread of the disease to skyrocket. Someone might say they will use mask, our schools are like homes to many of us, how long could I possibly have my mask on in “my house”?

Many of these students shouting that they want to resume school, make it seem as if they want to go back to school in quest for knowledge. True, many students want to go back to school for the right reasons, but a good number of them just want their freedom back. Lockdown of schools means most of them have to go back to their father’s house, being in their parents house automatically curbs many of their behaviors and vices. A child who smokes and involves in other immoral acts will definitely not want to be at home. These and several others are some of the reasons some of these students want to go back to school, faraway from their parents, where they will be able to continue their immoral acts.

If truly they thirst for knowledge, there are several online platforms, where they could learn 21st century relevant skills. Some of these courses are either free or you one might be told to pay a little fee. If knowledge is what they really seek, then they should engage themselves in their houses, by the time this imposed lockdown is totally over, they will probably be an expert at that which they learnt. If we are going to be honest with our selves, finishing from school in Nigeria doesn’t guarantee a good future. In fact many of us have had to drop what we studied in school, in search of 21st century relevant skills. The funny thing is that most of these skills are not taught in our tertiary institutions, why then are we rushing? Take this time to learn important skills and save yourself from untold hardship, when you eventually finish your studies.

Someone might ask, why 2021 then, did anyone one tell you that COVID19 will leave by the end of the year? Or why exactly are you rooting for 2021. Scientists and health experts are pointing at a vaccine being available in the first quarter of 2021, hopefully things go as planned. With the introduction of vaccine, COVID19 will quickly become a thing of the past and we will be able to move on with our normal life. COVID19 has disrupted so many things In our lives, not just in the education aspect, but in the business aspect amongst several others. We all feel the negative impact of this pandemic, but we all have to stay alive, to witness the end of this pandemic. Education is important, but definitely not as important as our health, to all parents out there, I’m sure you will rather have your kids go back to school in 2021, than for them to go back now and end up having the deadly virus. I pray that this virus, will be far from you and all your loved ones, but first you must stay safe, tertiary institutions remaining locked is one of the biggest ways of staying safe. One day we will go back to life as we used to know it, but that day hasn’t come. Till then stay safe, COVID19 is real.

What's your take on tertiary institutions remaining locked until 2021?

Content created and supplied by: T.Oluwafemi (via Opera News )

ASUU Academic Staff Union of Unversities Nigeria

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