The Academic Staff Union of Universities has kicked against the reopening of schools by the federal government.
This was disclosed on Monday June 29, 2020, in Ota, Ogun State by ASUU National President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi.
Prof Ogunyemi stated that the FG needed to address the challenges of education sector before the reopening of schools.
Ogunyemi added that an ideal environment should be provided. He stressed the FG should meet the conditions spelt out by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control before the reopening of 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 FG 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 said that many 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 stated.
Ogunyemi noted that many schools could not 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.
He added that many schools do not have enough spaces to promote physical distancing.
The ASUU president said that 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 FG to provide the running funds for the principals and head teachers so that they could provide some of these facilities in their schools.
He further 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 FG 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.