ASUU Kicks Against Resumption of Varsities, Cites Absence of COVID-19 Guidelines

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ASUU Kicks Against Resumption of Varsities, Cites Absence of COVID-19 Guidelines
Nwolu Obiajulu

The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has said tertiary institutions across the country are not prepared for safe reopening.

This was conveyed by chapters of the union, in separate interviews with Punch on Monday, noting the directive of the National Universities Commission, NUC, that universities could resume on January 18, but must ensure strict adherence to COVID-19 guidelines in hostels and lecture halls.

According to the union, although its members were ready to resume work, government was yet to provide measures for the safe reopening of the varsities.

The concern came at a time when coronavirus cases and deaths across the county had risen to 99,063 and 1,350 respectively as at Sunday.

Dr Adeola Egbedokun, Chairman of ASUU at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Osun State said classroom and hostel situations were not compliant with COVID-19 protocols.

He said, “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.”

In his assessment, the OAU spokesperson, Abiodun Olanrewaju, said the university management was ready for resumption and had put in place a lot in relation to the COVID-19 protocols in a bid to ensure safety.

Also reacting, the union at the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta said the university was not prepared to deal with COVID-19 challenges.

In his submission, the Chairman of ASUU-FUNAAB, Dr Adebayo Oni, 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 added, “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.

“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. 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.”



Source: Punch

This post was written by Nwolu Obiajulu.

The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.

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