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Undergraduates want government to authorise school reopening

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Since the federal ministry of education announced that it is putting strategies in place to ensure seamless and safe reopening of schools across the country, university students have called on the government to hasten its effort, saying they can’t wait for the nation to record zero case of coronavirus before resumption.

The minister of state for education, Mr. Emeka Nwajiuba, had during a briefing by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in Abuja, informed that some strategies are being put in place to see if academic activities could resume.

Some of the strategies, according to him include dividing classes to morning and afternoon sessions; and shifting some practical courses to the next semester to tackle social distancing measure.

However, some of the students who spoke with The Guardian said they cannot continue to stay idle at home, since e-learning is not working effectively.
They affirmed that dividing the classes into morning and afternoon sessions, and shifting some courses like practicals that will require students staying close to each other is very ideal.

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They, therefore, called on the government to implement its strategy, saying it is very appropriate and achievable. They said Nigerians should learn to live with COVID-19 since all indication showed the virus has come to stay just like other diseases.

For Peter Opeyemi, a student of Ekiti State University, “We cannot wait till the number of COVID-19 cases drops to zero before the government would reopen our schools. They should allow students to resume and start receiving lectures in groups. With the help of class representatives, we will work out a timetable for lectures to accommodate all students. Each department will work out things in the interest of all students.”

A Federal Polytechnic Ilaro, student, Akande Opeyemi, said, “To me, the guidelines are okay. Now there seems to be a solution to the pandemic, Some courses are better offered in the morning, while some are best for the afternoon.

“The idea of shifting some courses to next semester is also welcoming because there is no way you are going to teach a practical course in the laboratory that students will not move closer to each other and through this the virus might easily spread.”

For Kolawole Funmilayo, a student of Adeyemi College of Education, “This pandemic has exposed the rot in our educational system. Had it been the sector is adequately funded and tertiary education well invested in, coping amid the pandemic wouldn’t have been a big deal. For instance, in my department now, if we want to follow the federal government policy, it won’t work. Even if they divide us into four segments, the classroom won’t still contain us.”

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COVID-19Emeka Nwajiuba
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