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School resumption could be delayed even further as ASUU asks Federal government to do this

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Students hopes of returning back to school might have suffered a new blow as the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has decided to back up the Federal Government's decision to suspend earlier plans to reopen schools in the country.

It also supported plans to stop graduating SS 3 students from writing the West African Senior School Certificate Examination earlier slated to hold on August 4.

The president of the union, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi while insisting that safety was paramount urged Nigeria to follow in the footsteps of fellow African country, Kenya and postpone any plans of School resumption till 2021 to ensure adequate preparations.

ASUU president, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi Recall that the Federal Ministry of Education met with officials of the West African Examination Council in Abuja recently and resolved to announce a new date for the examination.

The Minister of Education (State), Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, also disclosed that the government would consult with the four other countries under WAEC to set a new date, while announcing COVID-19 mandatory guidelines for schools which must be met by all schools before July 29.

However, while speaking during an interview with Sunday PUNCH, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi said it was better for admission to be cancelled this year than experimenting with the lives of the students.

His words; "Look, Kenya has said they have closed all their schools till next year (2021); they too have exams to write. Safety first. If it means closing the schools until next year to safeguard the lives of Nigerian children and safeguard the health of all Nigerians, so be it.

So, if that will help us to address cases that can lead to increase in mortality, I think Nigerians should go that way and all of us should see reason for it. If they need to cancel admission for the year, it is good for them. Life matters first, people must have life first before they can go to university. Are the universities ready to work now?"

"Our position is that they should not experiment with the lives of our children. Nobody can tell; the situation may soon normalise and they can do their exams and there is another opportunity for external candidates around November. So, it’s not as if the door is totally closed"

According to Biodun, the government should tackle whether schools are safe to reopen before sending the students back.

He said, “The first thing that should be tackled is whether schools are safe. And if the schools are not safe, why do you want to carry out an experiment with the lives of our children?"

He also argued that it is a very bad idea to send children back to school at a time the country is experiencing a surge in the number of COVID-19 confirmed cases, however, he also added that if the government put in place the necessary precautionary measures to ensure the safe reopening of schools then it can go ahead with such plans.

His words; "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.

If they put all the things in place, including social and physical distancing, sanitisers, kitting the children as we see in other places, decontamination with water flowing in the schools and all the gadgets, why not? So, if government can meet all these conditions, then they can reopen the schools. But if they cannot meet all these conditions, they should not experiment with even 10 students in any school"

Schools remained closed down exactly four months since the ban on academic activities in the country and there have been much discussions and opinions about when it would really safe to reopen schools.

Let us have your opinion, do you also support what the ASUU president said? Should schools be closed till next year? Drop your comment below.

Content created and supplied by: Dimejisamuel (via Opera News )

ASUU Biodun Ogunyemi Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba Federal Nigeria


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