The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, have advised the federal government of Nigeria to shut down all schools until 2021 to ensure adequate preparations, and support FG decision to stop Senior Secondary School 3 pupils from participating in the West African Senior School Certificate Examination, WASSCE, earlier scheduled to commence on August 4 according to PUNCH.
The president of the union, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi, who stated above in an interview with Sunday PUNCH, said that no reasonable government would take such chances unless parents would be told to sign an undertaking.
Recall that the honourable Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, has earlier announced that the Federal Government of Nigeria and West African Examination Council, WAEC, have agreed to shift the date of West African Senior School Certificate Examination, earlier scheduled to hold from 4th of August.
Nwajiuba also disclosed that both the federal government and West African Examination Council, have agreed to further consult with four other countries on new examination date, while announcing COVID-19 mandatory guidelines for schools which must be kept before July 29.
But Prof. Ogunyemi, while reacting to the above statement by the minister, said that the union had not seen any evidence, to show that schools were secured for students to go back, and advised the government to shut down schools until 2021 to ensure adequate preparations, citing the case in some countries such as Kenya.
The ASUU president said and quote; 'Look, Kenya has said they have closed all their schools till next year ( 2021); they too have exams to write. If it means closing the schools until next year to safeguard the lives of Nigerian children, so be it.
Life matters first, people must have life first before they can go to university. If the schools are not safe, why do you want to carry out an experiment with the lives of our children?. An attempt to send back the children to school at a time there is a spike in COVID-19 cases in Nigeria is like experimenting with the lives of our children'.
He further stressed that their position remain to shut down schools until 2021, to avoid experimenting with the lives of an innocent children, and urged the federal government to provide all that is required for safety in other to ensure speedy reopening of schools.
The Ministry of Education closed all tertiary, secondary and primary schools nationwide, over the outbreak of the COVID-19 in the country earlier in Match, 2020. The indefinite closure is part of measures to contain the spread of the virus among school children.
Several attempts have been made to reopen schools for exam class, but the above statement from the ASUU president will further weaken the chances of SS3 students finishing their exams this year, and so will sound as bad news to them.
But considering the spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in the country, is it right to reopen schools without adequate facilities that can prevent the spread of the disease?.
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