April 23, 2024

Bustan Daily

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Reopening varsities now suicidal, social distancing impossible – ASUU

2 min read

The Academic Staff Union of Universities , on Monday ,
warned the Federal Government against reopening
tertiary institutions without taking concrete steps to
curb the spread of COVID- 19 .
Zones of the union said social distancing and other
COVID- 19 protocols were practically impossible in
public tertiary institutions , which were always
overcrowded in the country . They , therefore , warned that any attempt to reopen the
institutions would not only be suicidal , but also
worsen the spread of coronavirus .
Also , the National Vice – President of the union , Prof
Emmanuel Osodeke , in an interview with The PUNCH,
called on the Federal Government to upgrade the
education sector , if it wanted universities across the
country to resume .
Recall that the Minister of State for Education,
Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba had, on August 22 said
tertiary institutions shut in the wake of the coronavirus
pandemic in March , would reopen “ very soon . ”
During a Nigerian Television Authority programme ,
Nwajiuba said the Federal Government was also
working to end the strike embarked upon by ASUU .
But the National Vice– President , Osodeke , in the
interview with The PUNCH , called on the Federal
Government to upgrade the education sector , if it
wanted universities across the country to resume .
Osodeke said that if government believed that the
education sector was critical , it should meet the
COVID- 19 guidelines which it prepared for school
reopening .
He maintained that a topnotch procedure was created
at airports because the elite children needed to be kept
safe while returning to school abroad , whereas other
Nigerian children were asked to go back to campuses
which were not COVID- 19 complaint . Osodeke stated , “ If government believes that the
education sector is critical , they should try and meet
those rules . They met them for the airports , you are
aware . If you get to an airport before you board a
plane , there is a procedure you will pass through
because the airport is for the elite . Their children are
going back abroad for studies so the airports should be
okay so that they can go back to school . Meanwhile ,
they want these children to go back to schools where
there are no health facilities , no good accommodation ;
lecture theatres are so small for the students and you
want them to go and have a high rate of infection .
“ We expect the parents, students and our colleagues in
the media to put it to the government that they have
spent so much money on COVID- 19 since it started,
why can ’ t they spend money on the education sector
and upgrade the facilities so that the children can go
back to school ? That is what we should be talking
about . ”

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