NYCN, NANS back ultimatum for reopening of schools
The National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) and National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) in Anambra State have thrown their weight behind the call by Nigerian students to reopen schools nationwide.
Leading associations of Nigerian students, including National Association of University Students (NAUS), National Association of Polytechnics Students (NAPS) and National Association of Nigerian Colleges of Education Students (NANCES), last Sunday staged a protest and gave a two-week ultimatum to the Federal Government to reopen the schools shut in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.
The NYCN Chairman in Anambra State, Samuel Egwuatu, told The Guardian that the protest and call to reopen tertiary institutions were welcomed, stressing that the time was ripe to throw the gates of schools open for resumption of academic activities.
Egwuatu, who is also a Special Assistant to the state governor on Youth Affairs, said that “The New Normal has shown that we no longer have the normal curriculum, as students and staff have been made to adjust to wearing face masks, regularly washing hands with soap under running water and using sanitizers.”
According to him, graduating students who are taking West African Examination Council examinations are observing hygienic measures and social distancing, including spacing out of seats, adding that students in higher institutions should be made to follow suit.
While harping on the fact that COVID-19 is real, despite people’s penchant to live in self denial, Egwuatu advised lecturers to ensure that a classroom that once accommodated many students is divided into three to ensure effective social distancing.
He further called for the establishment of a task force in each institution to enforce and monitor compliance, while advocating sensitization of all students and staff on the need to observe necessary protocols on personal and environmental hygiene stipulated by World Health Organization (WHO).
Supporting Egwuatu, a member of Conflict Resolution of NANS, Lucious Daniel, said “it is a good development to reopen schools, stressing that “students have stayed long enough at home and it has been that bad for them.”
Daniel pointed out that COVID-19 is real, but most Nigerians have been skeptical. “We tag it as a political means. Let them allow us to go back to school,” he said.
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