Education

ASUU explains opposition to varsities’ reopening

Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has advanced reasons why it cautioned government against reopening universities now.
It posited that throwing schools open in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic is an open invitation to tragic explosion of the scourge on a scale never witnessed anywhere since its outbreak.
The union asked Nigerians to honestly interrogate its position on schools reopening.
Addressing journalists at ASUU’s Secretariat, University of Ilorin on Wednesday, the Zonal Coordinator, Ibadan zone, Prof. Ade Adejumo, who noted that there have been agitations from some quarters for the government to reopen schools, especially by proprietors of private universities, said that lives of students should not be endangered for pecuniary gains.
“Has the Nigerian government met the NCDC criteria on COVID-19 protocols in our institutions? Must we endanger the lives of our children for pecuniary gains? Should the primary issue on life and death be used on profit matter?
“COVID-19 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 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?
“A situation where a room meant for four now houses 20 students cannot be said to be social distancing compliant. Our position, as a responsible Union on all these is that; throwing schools open in the midst of all these, is an open invitation to tragic explosion of the COVID-19 scourge on a scale never witnessed anywhere since its outbreak! When this happens, Nigerians will not say that they were never warned,” Adejumo said.

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