Why we refused to reopen universities despite FG’s directive, reveals ASUU

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ASUU has blamed the federal government for the continued failure of universities to reopen, saying there is a lack of commitment

– The body said FG is not showing commitment to address health and education emergency

– Ogunyemi also said the universities cannot cope with the online learning system because the “efforts are limited”

Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, president of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), said the universities refused to reopen because of the emergencies in the health and education sectors which the federal government failed to address.

Ogunyemi made this disclosure on Tuesday, January 12, when he appeared on Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily programme monitored by Legit.ng.

The ASUU president said the lecturers’ body is greatly concerned about the safety of its members and students amid the mounting scare of COVID-19 disease.

Prof Biodun Ogunyemi said varsities refuse to reopen because FG fails to address the emergency in health and education sectors. Credit: TVC News
Source: UGC

According to him, the federal government is not doing enough to help facilitate an effective resumption back to the classroom as hostels and lecture theatres were not fumigated.

Ogunyemi described COVID-19 situation as an emergency which has to be addressed with full attention.

“We are concerned about the health and safety of our members. We expected the government to do an assessment as prescribed on what should be done before the universities reopen in June 2020.

“We have not seen that assessment being done for our members and students. It appears the government was not doing enough to address the emergency in the health and education sectors.

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“Social distancing in classes, our hostels are not fumigated. Shouldn’t that be in place? It is a situation of emergency.”

On the possibility of universities moving online, Ogunyemi said the efforts are commendable, though limited.

“I am not sure universities can cope. We are aware that varsities are moving online learning system. But these efforts are limited.”

Meanwhile, ASUU said it might resume its suspended strike in February 2021 if the federal government failed to fulfil the promises it made to the lecturers.

The national president of ASUU made this known in Lagos shortly after the union suspended its nine-month-old strike.

ASUU had gone on a nationwide strike in March 2020 over the federal government’s insistence that lecturers must register for the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) and other key issues.

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