The Committee of Pro Chancellors of Private Universities, CPCPU, has appealed to the Federal Government to reopen the country’s 78 Private Universities within the next one month.
Recall that tertiary schools alongside other educational institutions in the country, have been shut down since March 23 owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement made available to Journalists on Tuesday by the Head Corporate Affairs of Afe Babalola University(ABUAD), Tunde Olofintila, which was based on the communiqué issued at the end of CPCPU Emergency Virtual meeting held on Saturday July 25, the Pro Chancellors expressed readiness of private universities on reopening adding that all necessary requirements and protocols for safety of school environment in accordance to the recommendation of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 have been put in place.
“We are prepared to open in phases, first with the graduating students, and probably with the first year students”, the Communiqué said.
The CPCPU in the communiqué which was signed by Former Minister of Education and Pro-Chancellor of Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti, ABUAD, Prof. Tunde Adeniran, highlighted the overwhelming contributions that Private Universities have continued to make in the manpower training and development in Nigeria.
“It is globally acknowledged that prompt solutions to economic, medical and scientific problems are best secured through the active participation of universities as knowledge workers through the performance of their teaching and research functions.
“Further closure of our universities will amount to sounding a death knell to the continued viability of our institutions. In particular, the demise of private universities will increasingly become imminent and gravely undermine their role in assisting Government in the provision of jobs, education for the populace, and overall civil security, since private universities rely solely on student enrolment and fees which are only realizable, if the universities are opened forthwith.
“ Our Universities have also resolved to mobilise relevant resources in our universities across the country to undertake researches that address the challenges of the pandemic, for the wider benefit of the Nigerian populace and the world as a whole.
“We are pleased to have proactively and productively engaged with the complexities and complications arising from the pandemic in the last four months of closure. However, we have noticed with a heightened sense of trepidation that serious distortion and damage, in relation to academic calendar and resource base, await our institutions, should the closure of universities be prolonged beyond the next one month. Ultimately, the preparation of our students for a productive future may be compromised and this will not augur well for a country that is still grappling with employment challenges for its graduates.”