It seems like the Covid-19 pandemic is seriously affecting the re-opening of schools in Nigeria. Speaking on this issue at hand, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has explained that Nigerian universities are not allowed to resume, even if the federal government orders the resumption of all schools amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
The president of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Biodun Ogunyemi, disclosed that the union urged the government not to reopen schools until 2021.
The Nigerian federal government has on March 19th, ordered the closure of all tertiary, secondary and primary schools nationwide over the outbreak of the deadly virus.
A few days after the government’s directive, ASUU commenced an indefinite strike, which is still currently ongoing. This means that even if the Covid-19 outbreak is contained, Universities will still be on strike.
The union commenced the strike over the federal government’s decision to withhold the salaries of its members who defied the order of government to enroll in the Integrated Personnel and Payroll System (IPPIS).
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, and we suspect is it’s because of this government directives and the stubbornness of ASUU.
“They have brought out guidelines and conditions for school resumption, and it’s also important that they 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”.
Nigerian Universities can resume anytime it’s safe for the students to commence, and all hands must be on deck to ensure that the academic calendar for 2020 is completed. However, the federal government should do something about the ASUU strike to calm troubling waters.