BREAKING!! ASUU Kicks Against Universities Reopening As Second Wave of COVID-19 Hits Nigeria Really Hard
On Sunday, the branches of the Academic Staff Union of Universities evaluated the procedures for COVID-19 in universities and reported that the institutions were not prepared for a healthy reopening.
In separate interviews with The PUNCH, the union chapters commented on the National Universities Commission’s directive that universities could resume on 18 January but must comply with COVID-19 protocols in hostels and lecture halls.
While its representatives were ready to start work, ASUU said the government had not put in place steps to reopen the schools safely.
ASUU’s concern came amid cases of coronavirus and deaths, which on Saturday grew to 99,063 and 1,350 respectively.
In an interview with one of our correspondents, Dr Adeola Egbedokun, Chairman of the Union at Obafemi Awolowo University, Osun State, said that university classroom and hostel situations were not in any way compatible with the COVID-19 protocols.
Furthermore, Egbedokun said that no arrangements for the safe re-opening of the universities had been made so far and urged parents to focus on protection before re-opening.
No planning for COVID-19 protocols, OAU ASUU tells parents to focus on stable reopening,
COVID-19 is very real, he said, and this second wave is as real as it has been defined. In the name of resumption, which is politically driven, we can not afford to play with our wellbeing and the health of our dear learners.
There are no plans for safe university re-openings, and I believe parents need to focus on safe re-openings.
In our universities, the existing classroom and hostel arrangements do not in any way adhere to the COVID-19 protocols of the PTF (Presidential Task Force). Universities have no way of accomplishing that. I have said this elsewhere, that they were playing at the gallery instead of the government having tackled the evident deficits in the public universities during the lockout and strike.
However, the OAU spokesman, Abiodun Olanrewaju, said the university administration was prepared for re-establishment and had put in place “a lot in relation to the COVID-19 protocols” in an attempt to ensure stability.
It would now be catastrophic to conduct physical seminars, says FUNAAB ASUU.
At the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, ASUU said the university was not able to deal with the challenges of COVID-19.
In an interview with one of our correspondents on Sunday, the chairman of ASUU-FUNAAB, Dr. Adebayo Oni, said, “The lecture halls are overcrowded.” As of today, I haven’t seen any hand washing facilities on my own campus. Who is to provide sanitisers? Can you think that lecturers will provide themselves with sanitisers?
Environmental fumigation should be done from time to time. How do you deal with the rise of students and the power supply challenge? ”
Oni said the union had found that it would be more catastrophic to hold physical lectures with students.
He identified the COVID-19 figure as worrying. “He said, “The resumption of academic activities is certainly a threat.
The truth is that it would be more disastrous to go physically with students under this situation and look at the danger of the number. It would be more catastrophic to hold physical sessions and physical lectures with students.
The reality is that we are now proposing a mixed online teaching model and potentially a certain amount of physical teaching.
Also online education still has its own equipment that is not readily available.
We don’t want to be cynical about the possibility that it won’t be workable. It will, however, be at risk for our lives and the lives of our students if the government does not provide the requisite facilities.
The reality is that facilities are not accessible in our institutions to cope with the pandemic. The government seems not to be ready and our institutions are not helpful.
COVID-19: Nothing ready for resumption on the ground to show ATBU, say lecturers
Also, in a text message sent to one of our correspondents, the Chairman of the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University branch of ASUU, Dr. Musa Babayo, said that when the union was on strike, the government and institutions showed no indication of seriousness in dealing with COVID-19 issues.
He said that any tangible change in student hostel accommodation, classrooms and other items required for COVID-19 protocols had yet to be seen by ASUU in the ATBU.
Babayo, who said that if the federal government had released funds to universities, the institutions would have made adequate arrangements for the protocols.
“He said, “After ASUU has suspended its strike, the coast is now very clear and has gone further to show how government and institutions, particularly the issues of COVID-19, are not serious in handling universities.
“When you talk about ATBU and whether ASUU is satisfied, I can tell you that any tangible improvements have yet to be seen, whether in hostel accommodation, classrooms and other items required for COVID-19 protocols.”
But the University Public Relations Officer, Bauchi, Abdulkadir Shehu, told one of our correspondents that the reinstatement of the institution’s students had not yet been announced.
“He said, “Fumigation of the school at both the Yelwa and Gubu campuses started yesterday (Saturday) and it will be completed soon.
UNIJOS ASUU is worried about the second wave.
Dr Lazarus Maigoro, Chairman of ASUU at the University of Jos, said that the association was worried about the second wave of COVID-19.
He therefore advised the university’s management to ensure compliance with COVID-19 resumption protocols.
Maigoro, who expressed concern about the second wave of COVID-19, said his members wanted the University Authority to comply with the protocols of COVID-19 to prevent the spread of the disease within the institution.
The UNIJOS Senate will hold a meeting on Monday (today) to determine if the institution will reopen on January 18, 2021, for academic activities.
This was disclosed to one of our correspondents in Jos on Sunday by the institution’s Deputy Registrar, Information and Publications, Abdullahi Abdullahi.
“Abdullahi said, “We do not yet know when UNIJOS is going to resume. Tomorrow (Monday) the Senate will meet and that is where they will determine when the institution will reopen.
Second wave, we are not going to subject our members to health risks-UNICAL ASUU chair
The union leader, Dr John Edor, told The PUNCH at the University of Calabar that the group would not allow its members to be exposed to health hazards.
Edor stated, “We are not too quick to speak as a union.” We aren’t too fast to be meddlesome. They also said that schools are allowed to reopen on January 18, 2021. If we see that the requisite items for the resumption are not placed in place by then, the union will come up with a stance because we are not prepared to expose our members to health risks.
That’s why we went on strike, calling for public universities to be revitalized. Revitalisation simply means theatres that are conducive, hostels that are conducive, offices, laboratories and libraries.
“That’s why we’re saying that let’s wait until January 18th and see how prepared Nigerian public universities are in the face of a more ferocious variant of the second wave of COVID-19.”
ASUU Chairman Dr Austen Sado at the University of Port Harcourt said there would be a spike in coronavirus cases.
“He stated, “In order to assess its suitability, we were not invited to visit any facility. So, we’re going to wait until we have clarity about the resumption, and then we’re going to know whether there are things to deal with.
Asked if he was afraid of a spike ahead of the reopening of the school, he said that he had seen some measures put in place by the university, but that there was a possibility of an increase in cases.
UNIPORT will buy 400 thermometers.
On January 27, the university directed students to resume, stating that appropriate measures had been put in place to control the spread of COVID-19 in classrooms and hostels.
University Public Relations Officer Sammy Kpenu, who revealed this to one of our correspondents on Sunday afternoon, said that the purchase of 400 temperature control thermometers was one such measure.
UNILAG Senate decides Wednesday’s resumption date
But Mr Oladejo Azeez, Registrar of the University of Lagos, said the decision to resume academic activities would be taken by the Senate of the school on Wednesday.
In an interview with The PUNCH, Azeez said the Senate will virtually meet on Wednesday to discuss and settle on modalities for the resumption of students and academic activities.
He said, “The resumption of students or academic activities is a prerogative of the Senate, regardless of what the Federal Government has said.” The university senate will determine and the Senate meeting will take place on Wednesday; a virtual meeting will take place. The legislation puts this in the court of the Senate and there is no way anyone will say anything about reinstatement before the Senate meets.
The University of Ibadan management said everything would be done to ensure that students and staff did not spike in COVID-19 incidents.
In an interview with one of our correspondents in Ibadan on Sunday, the university’s Director of Public Relations, Mr. Olatunji Oladejo, said this.
But Dr Abubakar Sabo, chairman of ASUU at Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, said he doubted whether universities in Nigeria could comply with the COVID-19 prevention guidelines.
Abubakar, who spoke to one of our Sokoto correspondents, claimed that he was not aware of the steps placed in place by the UDUD management at the date of resumption.
The Federal Government and the university authorities must ensure that our campuses do not have a spike. I have concerns as to whether our universities would be able to follow the expectations and best practices for pandemic control.
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