Private varsities seek NUC’s nod to reopen
Private universities in Nigeria under the aegis of the Committee of Vice Chancellors of Private Universities (CVCPU) have appealed to the National Universities Commission (NUC) to make a strong case to the government to allow private universities reopen for on-campus learning and teaching.
In a letter to the NUC, a copy of which was obtained by The Guardian, the committee warned that the continuous closure may have dire consequences on the sub-sector.
In the letter signed by the chairman of the committee, Prof Timothy Olagbemiro, the vice chancellors warned that should the closure of universities extend beyond the next one month, there may be dire consequences.
The CVCPU said, “In compliance with the NUC’s directive of March 20, 2020, that all schools should be shut to prevent the spread of COVID-19, our students were sent home. Since then, with Federal Government’s permission, we have maintained online academic activities with these students so as not to irredeemably truncate their progress. We have also resolved to mobilise relevant resources in our universities across the country to undertake research that addresses the challenges of the pandemic for the wider benefit of the Nigerian populace and the world as a whole.
“We are pleased to have proactively and productively engaged with the complexities and complications arising from the pandemic in the last three months of closure. However, we have noticed with a heightened sense of trepidation that serious distortion and damage, in relation to academic calendar and resource base, await our institutions, should the closure of universities be prolonged beyond the next one month. Ultimately, the preparation of our students for a productive future may be compromised and this will not augur well for a country that is still grappling with employment challenges for its graduates. “
Olagbemiro added, “Considering the ample capacities in most of our hostels and classrooms, along with other facilities, the committee decided to develop a comprehensive plan that can enable our universities reopen and operate safely within the ambit of the COVID-19 protocols as enunciated by the government.”
With the plan completed, the committee said it felt it necessary to submit it to the NUC, with a plea that the report be submitted to the Federal Government to allow private universities reopen for on-campus delivery of teaching and learning within the next one month.
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