Regina Otokpa, Abuja
Following the Federal Government’s plan to review the January 18 resumption date for schools, the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), has said continued closure of schools may not be the best approach to controlling the spread of the virus.
President of NANS, Comrade Sunday Asefon, who made this known in a statement made available to newsmen on Tuesday in Abuja, said Nigeria needs a more regulated environment to ensure strict compliance to the non-pharmaceutical measures, especially the use of face masks at public places.
He further argued that having students and lecturers on regimented and regulated schools and campuses would help in no small measure, to raise consciousness and the bar of compliance to the COVID protocols, help them avoid social gatherings and undertake unnecessary travels.
He said: “We commend the consistent efforts of the federal government in galvanizing the entire country to respond to the coronavirus pandemic and in doing everything to access vaccines for Nigerians.
“Rather than postpone schools’ resumption, it has become imperative to address the alarming spread of COVID-19 and rising cases of deaths from a position of environmental strategy and human coordination since the lockdown mechanism can no longer be a mitigating option in the face of our economic reality.
“Therefore, and at this juncture, the Federal Government must quickly come to a place of understanding that the majority of Nigerians are living in unorganized environments and structures that are not helping to curb the spread of the virus.
“Accordingly, the Federal Government is immediately urged to rethink its approach and take only actions that can get more Nigerians into coordinated and regulated systems, like schools and offices, where hours of wearing face masks and complying with COVID Safety protocols can be guaranteed to curb the spread.
“School resumption will also help the students, teachers, and lecturers to avoid social gatherings, regular travels while concentrating on the task of teaching and researching, which can also help to trigger the need to have a new alternative and approach to fighting the pandemic.”