On Tuesday, The Academic Staff Union of Universities insisted that Nigerian universities and their students in the country are not yet ready to re-open at the moment.
ASUU said that they are finding it difficult to return to classes in the middle of a second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country.
Recall that the National Universities Commission (NUC) had earlier directed the lecturers to go back to classes on January 18, 2021.
But Academic Staff Union of Universities is demanding that the Nigerian Government review the decision due to the increase in COVID-19 cases worldwide.
“Our concern is rooted in the safety of our members,” ASUU’s National President, Biodun Ogunyemi, told Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Tuesday.
“What happens to congested hostels, crowded classrooms? What flexible arrangements are in place? It is a situation of emergency. I’m not sure the Universities can cope,” he said.
When asked if e-learning was an option for universities, the ASUU President said the necessary infrastructure was not in place.
“We are aware that some universities are putting measures in place, with alternative learning models,” he said, adding, “some are even trying blended classes, virtual and physical.
“But these efforts are limited. They get to a point they can’t go further.
“ASUU has been talking about revitalization since 2012. These are some of the areas where the assistance would have helped. Universities need huge funds to do this.
“People are saying start virtual classes, but more than 60 percent of our students will run into trouble – they can’t afford data or smartphones.”
The Union had, on December 23, 2020, being Wednesday, called off its ten-month-old strike.
The prolonged industrial action was due to the Federal Government’s delay in meeting the agreements reached with them.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) reported 1244 new COVID-19 infections in the country.
NCDC reported that the country now has a total of 1,361 deaths since the start of the Covid-19.
Currently, Nigeria now has over 100,000 confirmed Coronavirus cases.
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