The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), University of Ibadan chapter, has warned against the reopening of schools without provisions to meet COVID-19 precautionary guidelines.
Its chairman, Prof. Ayo Akinwole, stated this in a release made available to newsmen in Ibadan, yesterday.
Akinwole stated that the negative impacts of COVID-19 pandemic on schools could be enormous if responsibility was not taken to ensure safety of students and teachers.
He warned that no pecuniary gains would be more than the lives of lecturers and their students.
Akinwole noted that before COVID-19 pandemic, public varsities were over-crowded with students and hostel facilities took more than its capacity.
He then warned parents not to jubilate at the news of a possible reopening of schools, but should ask the government to put measures in place to forestall the outbreak of the virus once the schools have re-opened.
“What we are simply saying is that the Federal Government should adhere to their own set guidelines. Our position as a responsible union in all these is that throwing schools open in the midst of all these, is an open invitation to the tragic explosion of the COVID-19 scourge on a scale never witnessed anywhere since its outbreak.”
He said that the union was aware that there had been agitations from some quarters for the govern- ment to reopen schools.
He said that those leading the campaign were proprietors of private universities.
“ASUU is not in any way opposed to this call. However, Nigerians should honestly interrogate this position. Has the Nigerian government met the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) criteria on COVID – 19 protocols in our institutions? COVID-19 pandemic is still very much with us. It is in recognition of this fact that the government itself has rolled out certain conditions to be met before schools are reopened.
“ How many of our public institutions can confidently vouch for the safety of our children given the available facilities such as the provision of running water for hand washing; social distancing among students, the use of recommended face masks and shields, which are key components of NCDC protocols?” he queried.