Varsities are not safe to reopen – ASUU

Some branches of the Academic Staff Union of Universities on Sunday did assessed COVID- 19 protocols in the universities and said the institutions were not ready for safe reopening .

Addressing newsmen, most of the union chapters applauded the National University Commission (NUC) who earlier gave a green light that Varsities can resume on January 18, but must adhere to COVID- 19 protocols in hostels and lecture halls.

The Union said that although its members were ready to start work on the government on the 18th of January, the FG is still yet to put measures in place for safe reopening of the schools.

More so, ASUU different chapters were of the opinion that schools shouldn’t resume.

For instant, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeaokuta were of the opinion that holding physical lectures now will be disastrous. The union chapter the Federal University of Agriculture , Abeokuta said the university was not ready to cope with COVID- 19 challenges.

The Chairman of ASUU – FUNAAB , Dr Adebayo Oni , in an interview with newsmen on Sunday, stated, “ The lectures halls are overcrowded . As of today , in my own campus, I have not seen any facility for hand washing Who is to provide sanitisers ? Do you expect lecturers to provide sanitisers for themselves?. “Fumigation of the environment from time to time should be done , How do you cope with students surge and the challenge of power supply?”

Oni said the union had observed that conducting physical lectures with students would be more disastrous . He described as alarming , figure of COVID- 19 . He said, “ 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 session, physical lectures with students would be more disastrous”.

He went further, “ The truth of the matter is that we now propose a mixed model of online teaching and probably some level of physical teachings. Even the online teaching also comes with its own facilities which are not readily available. We don ’ t want to be pessimistic to say that it is not going to be workable . However , it is going to be at the risk of our lives and the lives of our students if the required facilities are not provided by the government”

“ The truth is that the facilities to cope with the pandemic are not available in our institutions . It appears the government is not ready and our institutions are not helpful. ” he said

On the other hand, ASUU members in Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University branch said “nothing on ground to show ATBU ready for resumption, say lecturers”. Rhe Chairman of the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University branch of ASUU , Dr Musa Babayo , in a text message sent to Punchng correspondent, said that the government and institutions did not show any sign of seriousness in handling COVID – 19 issues when the union was on strike.

He said that ASUU in the ATBU had yet to see any tangible improvement in students’ hostel accommodation , classrooms and other things needed for COVID- 19 protocols

Babayo who said that if the Federal Government had released funds to universities, proper arrangements for the protocols would have been made by the institutions .

He said, “ The coast is now very clear since has ASUU suspended its strike and it has gone further to show how government and institutions are not serious in the handling universities , particularly the issues of COVID- 19.

“ When you talk about ATBU and resumption whether ASUU is satisfied , I can tell you that we have yet to see any tangible improvement , whether in hostel accommodation , classrooms and other things needed for COVID- 19 protocols.”

Furthermore, Public Relations Officer of the university of Bauchi, Abdulkadir Shehu, told newsmen that the resumption of students of the institution had yet to be announced .
He said, “Saturday fumigation of the school at both the Yelwa and Gubu campuses commenced and it will soon be concluded . ”

Meanwhile, UNIJOS ASUU members said there are more concern about the second surge of the virus.

The Chairman of ASUU at the University of Jos, Dr Lazarus Maigoro , said the association was concerned about the second wave of COVID- 19.
He, therefore , urged the management of the university to ensure compliance with COVID – 19 protocols on resumption. Maigoro who expressed concern over the second wave of COVID- 19 said his members expected the university authority to comply with the COVID – 19 protocols to contain the spread of the disease in the institution.

The Senate of UNIJOS will on Monday (today ) hold a meeting to decide whether the institution will reopen for academic activities on January 18, 2021.

The institution’s Deputy Registrar , Information and Publications, Abdullahi Abdullahi, disclosed this to news men on Sunday in Jos.

Abdullahi said, “ We don’ t know yet when UNIJOS will resume. The Senate will be meeting tomorrow (Monday ) and that is where they will decide when the institution will reopen . ”he University of Port Harcourt, ASUU Chairman , Dr Austen Sado , said there would be a spike in coronavirus cases .
He stated, “ We have not been invited to inspect any facility in order to determine its suitability. So , we will wait until we get clarification on the resumption , then we will know whether there are things to contend with.”

Asked if he feared a spike ahead of the school resumption , he said he had seen some measures put in place by the university, but that the possibility of an increase in cases existed.

As a way to get ready for resumption, University of Port Harcourt, UNIPORT have purchase 400 thermometers.

The university had directed students to resume on January 27 , saying appropriate measures had been put in place to check the spread of COVID- 19 in the classrooms and hostels .

The Public Relations Officer of the university, Sammy Kpenu who disclosed this to one of our correspondents on Sunday afternoon , said one of such measures was the purchase of 400 thermometers to check temperatures.

It is also worthy to note that the University of Lagos Senate will sit and decides resumption date on Wednesday. But Registrar of University of Lagos, Mr Oladejo Azeez, said the decision on resumption of academic activities would be taken by the school’ s Senate on Wednesday .
Azeez in an interview, said the Senate would meet virtually on Wednesday to discuss and decide on the modalities of students’ resumption and academic activities .

He said, “irrespective of what the Federal Government has said, the resumption of students or of academic activities is the prerogative of Senate . Senate of the university will decide and the meeting of the Senate is coming up on Wednesday; a virtual meeting . The law places this in the hands of the Senate and until Senate meets, there is no way anybody can say anything on resumption.”

The management of the University of Ibadan said everything would be done to ensure that there was not spike in cases of COVID – 19 among students and staff.

The Director of Public Communication of the university , Mr Olatunji Oladejo, said this in an interview by news men in Ibadan on Sunday.

But ASUU Chairman at the Usmanu Danfodiyo University , Sokoto, Dr Abubakar Sabo , said he doubted if universities in Nigeria could meet the guidelines for preventing COVID- 19.

Abubakar , who spoke to one of our correspondents in Sokoto, stated that he was not aware of measures being put in place by the management of the UDUD towards the resumption date .

Written by Nsikak Ibatt

Nsikak Ibatt is a Compere and a Policy Analyst as well as a Social media journalist...

A Google Certified Digital Markerter and a writer. A well-seasoned strategic and investigative reporter and researcher

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