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COVID-19: ASUU kicks against re-opening of schools


Students of JSS Tudun Wada school wash their hands, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Abuja, Nigeria March 19, 2020. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), on Thursday, implored the Federal Government to reconsider its decision on the proposed reopening of schools nationwide.

The union expressed this concern amidst the increasing cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic across the country.

Dr Dipo Akomolafe, the ASUU Chairman, of the Olusegun Agagu University of Science and Technology (OAUSTECH), Okitipupa, Ondo State, made this appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).


According to him, the reopening of the schools was likely to make more children and teachers vulnerable to the disease.

NAN reports that Mr Boss Mustapha, the Chairman, Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, had on June 29, announced the reopening of schools in a yet-to-be-decided date for all pupils and students in the graduating classes.

He said this was to enable such students to prepare for their examinations.

According to Akomolafe, most of the schools cannot meet up with the guidelines put in place for the reopening.

He added that most of the pupils and students would want to embrace themselves, shake hands and ignore the use of face masks and social distancing.

The don added that reopening of schools at this time would also increase teachers responsibilities, as they would be left to handle their teaching jobs, as well as also monitor the students, to ensure adherence to precautionary measures.


He further noted that reopening the schools at this crucial time with the daily increase of the disease, was like making more children and teachers vulnerable.

“The Federal Government gave guidelines for reopening of schools recently, but how many of these schools can oblige to these guidelines?

“Children may find it difficult to use the face masks, they cannot do without embracing themselves, shake hands with themselves and play together, all of which is against social distancing.

“Teachers will also be charged with additional responsibilities of teaching, as well as monitoring the children to comply with the precautionary measures against the virus.

“We are, therefore, calling on the Federal Government to reconsider its decisions on the matter, so that more alarming figures of casualties will not be recorded,” Akomolafe said.

The don, however, urged parents to enlighten their children more on the pandemic and ensure that schools complied with government’s guidelines before releasing their children for schools, should government insist on the reopening.


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