The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) yesterday said the re-opening of schools must be done with due diligence and utmost precaution, given the overcrowded nature of schools at the both primary, secondary and tertiary levels. In similar vein, the Delta State chapter of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) yesterday rejected the directive by the Federal Government to re-open schools that were under lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
In a communique signed by NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, at the end of a joint meeting of NLC’s affiliate unions in the education sector and the education committee of the union, said adequate infrastructure needed to be provided in schools to ensure effective enforcement of the NCDC protocols and guidelines on COVID-19.
The communiqué further recommended: “There is need to re-adjust the Nigerian federal budget for education and implement measures in assisting institutions with financial burden of managing Covid-19; “It is important to adopt phased/structured education activities, adjust exams and lecture/teaching time; there is need for National Safe School policies to assist educational institutions to conduct risk assessment audit of schools in the country; “There is need to revisit the outsourcing policy of security personnel and cleaners, especially in institutions of higher learning to enable the institutions to have full control of the security personnel and cleaners, as private cleaners and security personnel cannot guarantee the health and safety of staff and students; “We call for the immediate releases of intervention funds to all institutions to enable them to provide needed safety measures; Provision of out-door learning environment for kids; “Strengthening e-learning facilities in primary and tertiary institutions through provision of customised electronic devices to all staff and students.
This is in order to complement traditional class settings and achieve physical distancing.” Meanwhile, the Delta State chapter of the NUT wondered why the Federal Government contemplated reopening, instead of engaging medical experts in research work for the cure of the pandemic.