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COVID-19: It’s unreasonable to contemplate re-opening of universities —ASUU



The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has declared that it is unreasonable to contemplate the reopening of Universities in the country amid the COVID-19 pandemic because facilities to ensure the safety of students and lecturers are not in place.

The declaration was made by the Coordinator of the Calabar State chapter of the ASUU, Dr Aniekan Brown who stated that those clamouring for the re-opening of Universities are those serving as cash cows to some governments.

Dr Brown who made the assertion while briefing newsmen Monday in Uyo, stressed the need for members of the public to know that it was unreasonable to contemplate re-opening universities due to lack of facilities and capacity.

According to him, the COVID-19 pandemic actually exposed the vulnerability and frailties of the country in the different sectors of the economy especially the education and health sectors.

He said that the COVID-19 pandemic would not have taken the country unawares this much if the Government had kept its own side of the 2013 agreement it had with ASUU.

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He said: “But government has reneged on that agreement as we speak. Let’s be fair, if you know the total number of students that take certain courses and then you take that side by side with the available spaces, you will know that Government has set protocols, but the reality on our campuses suggest that Government is not ready.

“Therefore, it will be illogical to contemplate re-opening the universities when the facilities to take care of people are not there. Remember it is the lives of people that we are talking about, lives of students, and lecturers.

“When you consider these things, then you feel you are duty-bound to let the Government know that it should be responsible. So we owe Nigerians the duty of compelling Government to do the needful.

“Some universities serving as a Cash cow to some governments are clamouring for the re-opening of our universities. The very impetus for this is to continually exploit Nigerians via fees. Regrettably, there is no evidence that the COVID-19 protocols and advisories will be enforced. What facilities do we have to ensure the protocols would be kept?” he asked.

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