Nigerian lecturers reject school reopening over Covid-19.
Lecturers from more than 115 federal and State universities have aligned with 19 northern States in Nigeria to oppose re-opening of schools and the conduct of examinations for graduating students, citing a spike in Covid-19 cases.
The lecturers, through their embrella organisation — Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) — on June 18, advised the Nigerian government not to experiment with the lives of students.
The union also rebelled against the plan to conduct the West African Senior School Certificate Examination in August, and supported government’s earlier decision to stop the exams which were to be conducted by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC).
ASUU national president, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi, said: “Safety first. If it means closing the schools until next year to safeguard the lives of Nigerian children and safeguard the health of all Nigerians, so be it.”
“If they need to cancel admission for the year, it is good for them. Life matters first, people must have life first before they can go to university. Are the universities ready to work now? Our position is that they should not experiment with the lives of our children. Nobody can tell; the situation may soon normalise and they can do their exams and there is another opportunity for external candidates around November. So, it’s not as if the door is totally closed,” he added.
The government’s attempt to send children back to school comes at a time when Nigeria has passed the 36,000 mark of confirmed infections.
789 people have died from the virus.
Now, the 19 Northern States out of Nigeria’s 36 States have resolved to re-open schools only when it was safe to do so.