Academic Staff Union of Universities on Monday urged the Nigerian government not to reopen universities on January 18 due to the rising cases of COVID-19.
ASUU leaders stated that Nigerian universities are not prepared for the resumption of operations due to lack of preparatory materials to handle the Covid-19 pandemic for students and teachers.
ASUU Chairman at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Osun State, Dr. Ademola Egbedokun, stated that the union cannot afford to mess with the health of its students and warned that no preparatory measures had been put in place to deal with the pandemic.
“COVID-19 is very real and this second wave is as real as described. We cannot afford to toy with our health and the health of our dear students in the name of resumption, which is politically motivated.
There are no preparations for safe re-opening of the universities and I think parents must insist on safe re-opening. The current classroom and hostel configurations in our universities do not in any way conform with the PTF (Presidential Task Force) on COVID-19 protocols.
“There is no way universities can achieve that. I have said this elsewhere, that rather than for government to have addressed the obvious deficits in the public universities during the lockdown and strike, they were playing to the gallery.”
Dr Adebayo Oni, Chairman of ASUU-FUNAAB, added that the University lacks protective materials for hand washing, as lecturers have not been provided sanitizers.
He also warned that the university may not have the capabilities to deal with a surge of student during the pandemic
“The lecture halls are overcrowded. As of today, in my own campus, I have not seen any facility for hand washing. Who is to provide sanitizers? Do you expect lecturers to provide sanitizers for themselves. Fumigation of the environment from time to time should be done.
“It is definitely a threat to the resumption of academic activities. The fact is that under this circumstance and looking at the threat of the figure, going physical with students would be more disastrous.
Conducting physical sessions, physical lectures with students would be more disastrous.”