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 a telephone interview with PREMIUM TIMES, on Sunday, also clarified his position on the reports that the union urged the government not to reopen schools until 2021.
The government on March 19 ordered the closure of all tertiary, secondary and primary schools nationwide over the outbreak of the deadly virus in the country.
A few days after the government’s directive, ASUU commenced an indefinite strike, which is still on
While the federal government has now issued a guideline for resumption dates for final year students in primary and secondary schools, nothing has been said about tertiary institutions.
Mr Ogunyemi while speaking with our correspondent 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.”
“They have brought out guidelines and conditions for school resumption, they must now supervise and ensure that those conditions are met. Beyond formulating a policy, they must see to its implementation. So, we are saying it is not just a matter of putting things on papers but implementation from primary schools to tertiary institutions”.
In a statement by its Zone D coordinator, Kowe Amos, NANS said the refusal of authorities to take proactive steps shows a “lack of political will linked to years of unseriousness and recklessness on the part of our political office holders.”
“However, it must be made known that at the receiving end of this indecisiveness are students that are left idle at home with nothing worthwhile being done to ensure that students resume to classes.”
Should the federal government eventually ask schools to resume, university administrators will comply, but Mr Ogunyemi’s explanation indicates the lecturers will not be resuming classes until ASUU’s concerns are addressed.
Speaking further, Mr Ogunyemi said even if the government eventually reopens schools, it has nothing to do with