The chairman of the University of Jos branch of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, (ASUU), Dr. Lazarus Maigoro, on Saturday explained that the management of the Institution has not discussed the issue of reopening of the university and level of readiness with the Union.
Dr. Maigoro, who spoke to the Nation, while reacting to the federal government’s directive that Nigerian universities are free to reopen, said that “Our branch in Unijos does not support reopening of Universities in line with the position of our national body.”
The chairman, who outlined the consequences of reopening the universities, noted that “there is a lack of classrooms to take care of social distancing as contained in the COVID-19 guidelines, as most of the lecturers are within the vulnerable age and therefore will be risking their lives.
According to him, “there is no provision for isolation centres and equipment presently at Institution.”
He said that the hostels are usually overcrowded and students will be vulnerable.
Maigoro, also expressed dismay that the government has not supported the universities with funds to implement the COVID-19 guidelines to guarantee the safety of lecturers and the students.
More so, the ongoing national strike by the Academic staff union of Universities (ASUU) has not been resolved and even if universities reopen, there won’t be teaching and learning.
Also, he said that “the management of the university has not discussed the issue of reopening the university and their level of readiness with us, so I won’t be able to say in clear terms what they have done so far. Only the Vice-Chancellor can answer that for now.”
However, all efforts made by this reporter to contact the Vice-Chancellor. Professor Seddi Maimako of the Institution failed, even several calls on his phone switched off.
The Nation reports that Bauchi and Jos Zone of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) had last week warned the Federal Government against reopening universities without fully equipping them against COVID-19.
The Zonal Coordinator, ASUU, Prof. Lawan G. Abubakar, said the union was not averse to the reopening of universities but measures against coronavirus must be taken.
The union further warned that “If the government goes ahead to open universities without fully taking into consideration necessary measures against COVID-19 anything that happens to students they should be held responsible
Source: The Nation Newspaper