According to the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) Nigerian universities may not be reopened even if the federal government orders the resumption of all schools amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
The president of the ASUU, Biodun Ogunyemi, in a telephone interview with PREMIUM TIMES, on Sunday, also clarified his position on the reports that the union urged the government not to reopen schools until 2021.
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The government had on March 19 ordered the closure of all tertiary, secondary and primary schools nationwide over the outbreak of the deadly virus in the country.
A few days after the government’s directive, ASUU commenced an indefinite strike, which is still on.
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The union embarked on the strike over the federal government’s decision to withhold the salaries of its members who defied the order of government to enrol in the Integrated Personnel and Payroll System (IPPIS).
While the federal government has now issued a guideline for resumption dates for final year students in primary and secondary schools, nothing has been said about tertiary institutions.
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Mr Ogunyemi also said, “First, we did not say schools should not be reopened until 2021. We only advised that schools be reopened anytime it is considered safe for our children.”
“They have brought out guidelines and conditions for school resumption, they must now supervise and ensure that those conditions are met. Beyond formulating a policy, they must see to its implementation. So, we are saying it is not just a matter of putting things on papers but implementation from primary schools to tertiary institutions”.
Speaking further, Mr Ogunyemi said even if the government eventually reopens schools, it has nothing to do with universities battling with a series of crisis.