The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has disclosed that Nigerian Universities are not prepared for the resumption of academic activities as they lack necessary materials to control the Covid-19 pandemic for the safety of both students and teachers. ASUU Union leaders for Obafemi Awolowo University and FUNAAB disclosed this in an exclusive interview with Punch.
Dr Adeola Egbedokun, the union's Chairman at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Osun State, said that the union cannot afford to risk the health of its students and teachers due to resumption and urged parents to insist on safe re-opening as most university environments do not conform with the protocols from the Presidential Task Force (PTF). In his words he said;
“COVID-19 is very real and this second wave is as real as described. We cannot afford to toy with our health and the health of our dear students in the name of resumption, which is politically motivated. There are no preparations for safe re-opening of the universities and I think parents must insist on safe re-opening. The current classroom and hostel configurations in our universities do not in any way conform with the PTF (Presidential Task Force) on COVID-19 protocols.
“There is no way universities can achieve that. I have said this elsewhere, that rather than for government to have addressed the obvious deficits in the public universities during the lockdown and strike, they were playing to the gallery.”
Dr Adebayo Oni, Chairman of ASUU-FUNAAB, disclosed that the university lacks facilities for hand washing, stressed the need for fumigation of the university environment.
“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 sanitizers? Do you expect lecturers to provide sanitizers 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."