The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has asked the Federal Government not to reopen schools across the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic currently ravaging the country.
The union kicked against the reopening of schools when it’s National President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, spoke with the with News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, in Ota, Ogun.
He maintain that the Federal Government needed to address the challenges of education sector before it can talk of reopening schools, urging the Federal Government to provide ideal environment and should take the lead by meeting the conditions spelt 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.
many of the schools do not have financial capacities to meet those conditions and requirements for reopening of schools, which include: provision of materials for regular washing of hands, face mask, isolations centres, space for social distancing and hands sanitiser.
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.
many of these schools could afford to provide hand sanitiser, saying that many of them do not even have running water, not to talk of having facility for washing hands.
Many schools do not have enough spaces to promote physical distancing.
Putting all these requirements needed together, to reopen schools in the country now would run to millions of Naira, which most schools could not afford.
Ogunyemi appealed to the Federal Government to provide the running funds for the principals and head teachers so that they could provide some of these facilities in their schools, adding that inadequate funds by many parents would hinder them from providing some of these amenities needed for reopening of schools.
According to him, the Federal Government needed to tell Nigerians the steps they intended to take in reopening schools, stating 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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