The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has disclosed that the resumption of universities slated for January 18 may not go as planned due to the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the union’s national chairman, Prof. Abiodun Ogunyemi, the universities are not equipped to face the second wave of the respiratory disease and are not ready to risk the health of its students.
This comes after a 10-month long industrial action by the body, keeping the students at home during this period.
Speaking on the development, the Chairman of the union at Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Dr. Adeola Egbedokun Osun State, the resumption can not be feasible because no preparatory measures have been put in place to battle the pandemic.
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.” He concluded.
In the same vein, the Chairman of ASUU at the Federal University of Agricultural, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Dr Adebayo Oni, equally lamented that the University lacks protective materials for hand washing, as lecturers have not been provided sanitizers.
He also warned that the University may not have the capabilities to deal with a surge of student during the pandemic.
“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,” he said.
“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” he concluded.