ASUU TELLS FG NOT TO REOPEN SCHOOL

The federal government has been told not to reopen universities. The call was made by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Sunday, January 10. This followed an assessment of COVID-19 protocols in the universities. The union said institutions were not ready for safe reopening even though lecturers are eager to start work. Recall the FG said universities could resume on January 18 but must adhere to COVID-19 protocols in hostels and lecture halls. The union’s concern came amid increasing coronavirus cases and deaths, Punch Newspaper reports. Speaking on the preparedness towards reopening of schools, ASUU chairman at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Osun state, Dr Adeola Egbedokun said classroom and hostel situations in universities did not in any way conform with COVID-19 protocols. Meanwhile, Nigerians have taken to social media to react to the call by ASUU.Philip Ayodeji Oloruntola in his reaction on Facebook wrote:”With students coming from different parts of the country, and having different inclinations towards the pandemic, I am trying to imagine what may happen in the crazily packed dormitories, hostels, lecture room/theatres, and other common areas on campuses, especially in the public universities, when they resume on Jan.18, according to NUC directives.”My fear is hinged on the news of over 700 active Covid-19 cases among the current batch of Corp members (of just 33,000 plus). May God help us.”Comrade Jibrin Musa posited:”When will it be safe? Instead of taking measures & providing necessary facilities in our universities to contain the spread of Covid 19 but you’re busy saying it is not safe to open them.”Tope Arogunmati added:”How does this even make any sense? Haven’t the students, lecturers and other university staff been mingling with hundreds of other people every day in their own home environments in all the states across the country? Has there been any report that a significant number of them died of covid? Or has covid informed them ahead of time that it is relocating to campuses to kill all of them as soon as universities re-open?”At least let the final year students resume and complete their last session in school – practicing your covid protocols will be easier to follow with those ones as they are fewer in number.”Meanwhile, ASUU said it might resume its suspended strike in February 2021 if the federal government fails to fulfil the promises it made to the lecturers.The national president of ASUU, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi, made this known in Lagos shortly after the union suspended its nine-month-old strike.ASUU had in March begun a nationwide strike over the federal government’s insistence that lecturers must register for the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) and other key issues.

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