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ASUU accuses Nigerian govt of experimenting with lives of poor Nigerians by reopening schools



The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Wednesday accused the Federal Government of experimenting with the lives of poor Nigerians after it approved the reopening of schools across the country.

ASUU President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, who stated this in a Channels TV programme, Sunrise Daily, insisted that it was not ripe for schools to reopen in the country.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on Monday approved the reopening of schools across the country to enable the terminal students —SSS 3, JSS 3 and Primary 6 pupils —to return to schools in preparation for their examinations.

Ogunyemi said the government’s directive for schools to reopen across the country amid the COVID-19 pandemic could endanger the lives of poor Nigerian pupils.

He said: “What we are trying to do now is a crash model – an experimental approach. We want to experiment with the lives of poor Nigerians – children of the poor. Many of us in my bracket – maybe middle class – our children don’t fall into that category. And that is probably why we cannot appreciate why we need to do the basic minimum.

READ ALSO: ASUU TO NIGERIAN GOVT: Don’t reopen schools yet

“Are we saying that we should open schools without decontaminating the schools? For a government that could go openly to decontaminate streets, to decontaminate markets? Are lives in the schools not as valuable as those working on the streets? We need to do the basic minimum; it is not about income for teachers, income for workers here – it’s about what we need to do to avert disaster.”

The National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Sani Aliyu, who also appeared on the programme, insisted that the reopening of schools for graduating pupils was imperative because the examinations were set by external bodies.

Aliyu said: “We have a large number of students that are in the exit classes and they need to move on. These are not exams that are specific only to Nigeria but Africa – the WAEC exams. We need to find a way to safely get these students to write their exams and move on. Otherwise, we will have a serious spillover when it comes to education.”

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