The academic staff Union of universities (ASUU) has explained that Nigerian universities may not open even If the federal government orders the resumption of all schools amidst the covid19 pandemic. Before the Covid- 19 pandemic, as the cause of schools being lockdown, ASUU was on a two week warning strike. Which was later declared as an indefinite strike during the covid19 pandemic closure of schools.
ASUU was yet to settle their differences with the federal government, and it is still insisting that Nigerian universities will not open until the federal government meet with the demand their demand. Initially, ASUU and other educational body gave conditions to the federal government why school should reopen. And the conditions were as follows;
1. They call for immediate release of funds to all institutions to enable them to provide needed safety measures because there is a need for expansion of classrooms to ensure observance of social distancing protocol.
2. They also made mention that there is need to determine the duration of classes and sitting arrangements of student to avoid infection.
3. That the federal government should ensure general decontamination/fumigation of the entire premises, including hostels, classrooms, staff offices, business premises, lecture halls/theater, clinics, etc.
4. There should be additional employment of teachers to enable effective teacher/student relation based on the social distancing protocol.
5. And also the provision of outdoor learning facilities in primary and tertiary institutions.
6. There should be covid19 committee, which will take responsibility of ensuring strict compliance of schools with the safety measures.
And the measures include, regular washing of hands with soap and water, hand Sanitizers, at a minimum daily disinfection and cleaning of school surfaces and compulsory use of face masks by staff, student and visitors.
But then ASUU has also made mention earlier on their official Twitter handle that, Nigerian universities will not open even if the federal government declares school open and they have clearly stated their reasons below.
The president of the union in person of Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, in an interview also clarified his position on the report that the union urged the federal government not to reopen schools until 2021. He said, "first, we did not say schools should not be reopened until 2021, we only advised that schools be reopened any time it is considered safe for our children."
Prof. Ogunyemi went further to say, "Even if the government eventually reopens schools, it has nothing to do with universities battling with series of crisis. Talking about universities, it should be noted that the crisis is beyond covered 19."
"There are Fundamental crisis that will make universities reopening longer and impossible for now. ASUU has long told the federal government their position and until they meet the necessary conditions, universities are not resuming even after Covid 19."
" There are outstanding issues and the federal government is not ready to fix our universities and provide enabling learning environment. For instance, we are talking about revitalization, if our institutions are If our institutions are well equipped there is no reason why covid19 should stop academic activities."
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"The federal government cannot talk about social distancing in universities without talking about additional lecture halls. So ASUU is saying they have two crisis delaying resumption."
The health crisis and the refusal of government to make our university's standard He said.
Mr ogunyemi urged the federal government to pay as much attention to educate as it is paid to health. It is obvious that Nigerian universities will not reopen anytime soon until the federal government meet with the demands of ASUU.
Education lightens the world so the federal government should consider and meet the demands of ASUU so that Nigerian university academic activities will resume fully.
What is your take on this.
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