COVID-19: KWASU VC wants school reopened

Vice Chancellor, Kwara State University (KWASU) Malete, Professor Muhammed Mustapha Akanbi, has said that full resumption of schools should commence in the country, stressing that Nigerians should learn to live with the COVID-19.

Speaking at a news programme of the Correspondents’ chapel of the Kwara State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Ilorin on Thursday, Professor Akanbi said the earlier students go back to school, the better, adding that people should only comply with safety protocol.

“Government has taken a bold and good step by allowing some particular sets of students to resume. Some schools have been supporting online teaching and exams, but we can never compare physical learning online.

“The pandemic has posed a challenge to us, it is affecting private universities. Some of them are sacking workers presently. We are currently at home because of the covid-19 and government directive. If you ask me now I will tell you that the universities should be reopened immediately”, he said.

On preparedness of the institution towards resumption, he said “we are already fumigating our facilities, both in Malete and Ilorin. We have been doing online lectures for classes with a large number of students. For those with sizable numbers we have made plans to maintain physical distancing of two feet as recommended and also divide some into other lecture classes.

The KWASU VC, who said that COVID-19 has created food insecurity in the country, added that the institution has entered into solving the problem.

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“Farming in Nigeria is seasonal. When farmers don’t go to the farm at the time they should go, it will naturally have a negative impact.

“KWASU had written a proposal to the CBN to fund our agriculture programme. We plan to go into farming to be able to augment our finances and also assist our host and other communities.

“Our major challenge now is the COVID-19 pandemic which has prevented us to move at the pace we want. We rely more on our IGR to fund the university. The pandemic has really affected all sectors, including government, KWASU is not excluded. One of the reforms I embarked upon is to introduce the much popular faculty systems instead of the college that was being operated before.

“KWASU will be self-sustaining in the next five years without seeking loans from banks. One of my vision is to improve on our IGR.”

“One of my desires is for KWASU to have a College of Medicine. My predecessor has begun the process which I will be work on to see it completed. When we have a college of medicine we will be able to go into more research and challenges like COVID-19 will be surmounted.

“The way forward for our professors is to ensure they go into quality oriented research. Research must be proving solutions to problems and not just for doing sake. It must spell out the benefits that would be derived. In a few years from now, I believe KWASU will be far better than far.” He added.

NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

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