ASUU President Urges The FG Not To Reopen Schools

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Monday condemned the idea of reopening schools by the Federal Government due to the COVID-19 pandemic currently causing the country havoc.

Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, ASUU National President, spoke with the with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ota, Ogun. He said that the Federal Government needed to address the challenges of education sector before it can bring up the topic of reopening schools.

Ogunyemi urged the Federal Government to provide ideal environment, following the lead by meeting the conditions set out by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) before reopening schools.

“The Federal Government must lead and show the ways by meeting the conditions for reopening of schools before any school can be allowed to open, because COVID-19 pandemic is a health challenge.

“When it comes to public health, it is something that should not be left in the hands of individual, but the Federal Government must take the lead,’’ he said.

The ASUU president listed the conditions spelt out by NCDC to include: provision of materials for regular washing of hands, face mask, isolations centres, space for social distancing and hands sanitiser.

Ogunyemi pointed out the fact that a lot of the schools do not have financial capacities to meet those conditions and requirements for reopening of schools.

“It is suicidal to reopen schools now, if the Federal Government itself could not meet the conditions spelt out by NCDC and World Health Organisation (WHO).

“The nation will expose the innocent children to risks which is avoidable,” he said.

Ogunyemi added that how many of these schools could afford to provide hand sanitiser, saying many of them do not even have running water, not to talk of having facility for washing hands.

He also informed that many schools do not have enough spaces to promote physical distancing.

The ASUU president mentioned that putting all these requirements needed together, the cost for the reopening of schools in the country now would run to millions of Naira, which most schools could not afford.

Ogunyemi appealed to the Federal Government to help provide funding for the principals and head teachers so that some of these facilities would be made available in their schools.

Furthermore, he said that inadequate funds by many parents would hinder them from providing some of these amenities needed for reopening of schools.

Ogunyemi said that the Federal Government needed to tell Nigerians the steps they intended to take in reopening schools.

The ASUU leader said that for government not to tell people their minds was like running away from “our shadow” which would later hunt the country.


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