Chairmen of various chapters of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, on Sunday expressed concerns over resumption of academic activities on January 18 saying the institutions were not ready for safe reopening.
Tertiary institutions took a break from academic activities due to both the COVID-19 pandemic and a personal and institution welfare-related face-off with the Federal Government which has kept them out of classes for over 9 months.
According to ASUU, government has to put measures in place for the safe reopening of the schools to guarantee safety of its members who are willing to return to classes.
Dr Adebayo Oni, who is the union chairman at the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta FUNAAB, said, “The lecture halls are overcrowded. As of today, in my own campus, I have not seen any facility for hand washing Who is to provide sanitisers? Do you expect lecturers to provide sanitisers for themselves? Fumigation of the environment from time to time should be done, How do you cope with students surge and the challenge of power supply?
“It is definitely a threat to the resumption of academic activities. The fact is that under this circumstance and looking at the threat of the figure, going physical with students would be more disastrous. Conducting physical session, physical lectures with students would be more disastrous.
“The truth of the matter is that we now propose a mixed model of online teaching and probably some level of physical teachings. Even online teaching also comes with its own facilities which are not readily available.
“We don’t want to be pessimistic to say that it is not going to be workable. However, it is going to be at the risk of our lives and the lives of our students if the required facilities are not provided by the government. The truth is that the facilities to cope with the pandemic are not available in our institutions. It appears the government is not ready and our institutions are not helpful.”