ASUU, Covid-19 and the Crux of School Reopening: Which Way?
By Abdulrasheed Hammad
It’s no more news that the Nigerian students are thrilled to resume back to campus after ten months of its closure by the federal government as a result of the surge of Covid-19 cases and the ASUU strike which lasted for nine months. Although the federal government and Academic Staff Union of the Universities are not in support of the school reopening even though other sectors are opened to avoid an economic crisis in the country.
To avert the closure of schools again, the students have to abide by Covid-19 protocols laid down by NCDC to contain the spread of Covid-19 in the country. The use of face masks, washing of hands regularly and avoidance of crowds, and maintaining of social distancing are some of the ways to thwart this virus on campus. The two options are now left for the students to choose on either to observe Covid-19 protocols or risk the closure of schools again? Which one do you think is better?
Even though you don’t believe in the existence of Covid-19 in Nigeria or you believe the existence of it but do not believe in the figures of Covid-19 cases releases by NCDC every day as a number of patients who have contracted Covid-19 virus, if you fall in either of the two categories, it is very paramount to let you know that prevention is better than cure, whether you believe in its existence or not, just make sure you abide by Covid-19 protocols so that we wouldn’t experience the bad incidents that happened to us (students) last year.
The students cannot afford to stay out of the class again but it’s so awful that the federal government has failed to provide the necessary Covid-19 preventive facilities for school management to keep the students safe from Covid-19 while on campus. The school management has a function to perform in ensuring Covid-19 protocols are maintained on campus by setting up a task force committee that will be responsible to implement the rules and regulations laid down by NCDC to contain the spread of this deadly virus.
The lecturers shouldn’t allow any student who refuses to use a face mask inside the class and the lecturers should ensure that the students maintain social distance in the classroom. The Students’ Union should also try their best to enlighten the students on the need to abide by these protocols and to also set up a committee among students to enforce the rules laid down by the management of the institution as part of her contribution in containing this virus.
The campus journalists also have a role to play to ensure that the students and lecturers abide by Covid-19 protocols by using their pen to sensitise students and lecturers on the need to abide by this preventive measure and to also hold any students or lecturers accountable for violating the Covid-19 protocols on campus.
I am using this medium to implore the federal government to make provision for the Covid-19 facilities in our tertiary institutions to ensure the safe reopening of our campuses. The management of each institution should ensure the availability of handwashing machines and hand sanitizer at every nooks and cranny of the campus to make the students safe from Covid-19 on campus.
Finally, the students shouldn’t violate the Covid-19 protocols because the aftermath of the surge of Covid-19 cases may lead to the closure of schools again and the continuous closure of schools will affect this present generation up to the upcoming generation and the students haven’t recuperated from the previous closure of schools across the country. However, it’s in my humble submission that it is better to observe Covid-19 protocols than to risk the closure of schools again.
Observe Protocols or Risk Closure of Schools
Let Us Stay Safe
Covid-19 Is Real
Abide by Covid-19 Protocols
To Avoid The Closure of Schools