Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Academic Staff Union of University, Nsukka Zone has warned that any attempt to reopen universities without adequate arrangements in place could trigger a second wave of COVID-19.
“The attempt to reopen universities may be a pandora box leading to a second wave of COVID-19 which will trigger more consequences since adequate arrangements are not in place for such a decision to properly work.”
Zonal Coordinator, ASUU, Nsukka Zone, Dr. Igbana Ajir gave the warning on Friday at a Press Conference hosted by ASUU, University of Agriculture, Makurdi at Chateau de Victoria Hotel, Makurdi.
He noted that so many issues need to be addressed before reopening of schools can be considered at all.
Ajir listed those issues to include adequate hostel accommodation, availability of physical facilities to enable social distancing in large and usually crowded classrooms, running water, steady source of power, testing, and isolation centers.
He lamented that in most universities, the carrying capacity is now determined by their Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) which are sourced through students’ fees, a development which he noted, had made such universities exceed their admission carrying capacities to make up for inadequate funding of the institution.
Ajir however posited that it would be very difficult, if not impossible, for public universities to meet up with the conditions set by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 even in the next ten years.
“We are just trying to point out the inadequacies of the Federal government that those conditions cannot be met in public universities. That’s why you can see that no Vice Chancellor of any public university has come out to say he is ready to reopen while their counterparts in private universities are saying they are ready.