From Emmanuel Adeyemi,
The Nigeria Labour Congress and other affiliate unions in the education sector in Kogi State have given conditions for the reopening of schools in the State.
The unions’ position was contained in a communique issued at the end of the joint meeting among the NLC , NASU, ASSUP, ASSUS , COEASU and other affiliate unions in education sector held in Lokoja on Tuesday.
The communique which was signed by the NLC chairman, Onuh Edoka and Secretary, Oladipupo Owoeye called for the provision of adequate infrastructure needs in schools to ensure effective enforcement of the NCDC protocols and other guidelines on COVID-19.
“Re-opening of schools needs to be done with due diligence and utmost precaution given the overcrowded nature of schools at the Primary, Secondary and Tertiary levels”
The communique urged the government to bring all stakeholders in the Primary, Secondary and tertiary education subsector comprising the unions such as the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools (ASUSS), Parents
Teachers Association (PTA), Committee of Vice Chancellors and Provosts of Polytechnics, College of Health Science, College of Nursing and Midwifery and Colleges of Education, All Nigeria Confederation of Principals ofSecondary Schools (ANCOPSS) to deliberate on the way forward to ensure safety of teachers and students in this period of the pandemic.
The unions also stressed the need for the creation of post COVID-19 re-opening plans and strategies based
on NCDC protocols and guidelines.
The communiqué called for the training of the staff of health centers of Universities, Polytechnics, Colleges of Education, Secondary Schools and both teaching and non-teaching staff on how to handle the pupils and students during this era
The unions also called for the readjustment of the Kogi State budget for education and implement measures that would assist institutions with financial burden of managing COVID-19 “There is need to revisit the outsourcing policy of security personnel and cleaners especially in the institutions to have full control of the security personnel and cleaners as private cleaners and security personnel cannot guarantee the health and safety of staff and students” the communiqué added.
The communique also stressed the need for provision of personal protective equipment (PPE) for health
workers and other essential workers for their safety and protection.