Why we are against the reopening of universities now – ASUU

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Tuesday January 12 insisted Nigerian universities are not ready to re-open in the middle of a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

ASSU’s national president, Biodun Ogunyemi stated this in Channels TV Sunrise Daily.

The National Universities Commission (NUC) had earlier directed universities to resume academic activities on January 18 after a 9 months long industrial action.

But ASUU asks the federal government to review the decision, as more COVID-19 cases continue to be reported across the country.

“Our concern is rooted in the safety of our members, 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.” Ogunyemi said.

When asked if e-learning was an option for universities, the ASUU President said the necessary infrastructure was not in place.

He said; “We are aware that some universities are putting measures in place, with alternative learning models,” he said. “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 revitalisation since 2012. These are some of the areas where the assistance would have helped. Universities need considerable funds to do this.

“People are saying start virtual classes, but more than 60 per cent of our students will run into trouble – they can’t afford data or smartphones.”

ASUU recently called off a ten-month-old strike over demands related to salary structure and government support for universities.

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