The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has explained that Nigerian universities may not be reopened even if the federal government orders the resumption of all schools amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
The president of the union, Biodun Ogunyemi, in an interview today also clarified his position on the reports that the union urged the government not to reopen schools until 2021.
He said, “First, we did not say schools should not be reopened until 2021. We only advised that schools be reopened anytime it is considered safe for our children.”
Speaking further, Mr Ogunyemi said even if the government eventually reopens schools, it has nothing to do with universities battling with a series of crisis.
Talking of universities, it should be noted that the crises are beyond COVID-19. There are fundamental crises that will make universities reopening longer and impossible for now.
We had long told government our position and until they meet necessary conditions, universities are not resuming even after COVID”. “There are outstanding issues and government is not ready to fix our universities and provide enabling learning environment.
For instance, we are talking about
revitalisation… if our institutions are well equipped, there is no reason why coronavirus should stop academic activities.
You cannot talk about social distancing in universities without talking about additional lecture rooms. So, we have two crisis delaying resumption.
The health crisis and the refusal of government to make our universities standard,” he said.
Mr Ogunyemi urged the government to pay as much attention to education as it is paying to health.