ASUU cautions against rushing to reopen schools

ACADEMIC Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has advised federal and state governments not to hasten to reopen schools until all necessary measures have been put in place to prevent the spread of Coronavirus in schools.

The president of the union, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, gave the advice in an exclusive interview with Tribune Education, saying that is the only way Nigeria and its people will not regret.

He noted that most of the schools, especially those owned by government, have overcrowded classrooms, poor sanitary systems and no running water, among other challenges – which would all make the practice of social/physical distancing and personal hygiene almost impossible for both students and their teachers.

The ASUU leader also noted that at the moment, there is confusion in some states with high infection rates like Lagos and Kano as regards how to properly handle the situation, which he said informed the consideration for home isolation for infected persons.

Ogunyemi, who teaches at the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State, blamed the political class for what he called the awkward structure of the country’s economy, saying the structure is built in a way that gives room for the rich to be richer and the poor, poorer.

“And that is why there is nothing on the ground for government to fall back on whenever there is an emergency, except to go back to the private sector or to individuals who have benefited so much from the system, and who at that point only give a token from the so much they have taken from the system.

“So, government would need to take it softly in reopening schools as we cannot afford to face a worse scenario of COVID-19,” he emphasised.

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