ASUU Not Opposed To Varsities Reopening –Ogunyemi

Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, Nation­al President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), on Wednesday, debunked claims of the union’s opposition to the opposition to the reopen­ing of the nation’s public universities on January 18.

Ogunyemi, in a chat with Daily Independent, explained that the position of the union was that both the government and university authorities have not complied with the COVID-19 guidelines spelt out for resumption before lectur­ers and students are allowed to return for learning.

He said, “ASUU does not have any objection to govern­ment reopening the universi­ties. “Indeed, ASUU members are prepared to put extra efforts to get the universities going. However, our union is saying both university authorities and government have not done enough to guarantee the health and safety of our members and our students in going back to classes on the campuses

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He recalled that in July 2020, the Federal Government released the guidelines for Schools and Learning Facili­ties Reopening after COVID-19 Pandemic Closures, adding that the goal was to ensure a safe learning environment.

“As part of the guideline document, stakeholders are expected to conduct a joint as­sessment for the safe reopen­ing of schools and learning facilities. Two critical instru­ments for doing this are the Readiness Checklist and the Compliance Checklist.”

Regrettably, Ogunyemi said, “We have not seen this critical assessment being done in most of our public universities with major stake­holders like the campus-based unions of staff and students participating.

“But, if the government has done the safety assess­ment, the reports should be made available to our mem­bers and indeed all Nigerians.

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“In other words, we are simply asking the govern­ment to apply its own guide­lines in a transparent manner to reassure ASUU that the health and safety of its mem­bers and their students could be guaranteed in reopening the universities. “Among other things, university au­thorities and the government should address questions like what are we doing about the crowded classrooms?


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