By Abdulrasheed Hammad
Many students have expressed disappointment over the statement by the President of the Academic Staff Union of the Universities (ASUU), Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, that the Federal Government should not reopen schools until it is safe for students.
They also faulted Ogunyemi’s claim that university students would not resume even after the COVID-19 pandemic until the Federal Government met certain conditions. They claimed ASUU was just fighting for its own selfish interest.
Shehu Shamsudeen Ahmad, a 200-Level student of Law at Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto (UDUS), urged the Federal Government not to pay attention to the advice given by the ASUU.
“Nigerians should accept the fact that this pandemic has come to stay with us for the time being, let us not use the pandemic as a cover to hinder the progress of our educational system.
Our education is important and, as they say, ‘we are the future of Nigeria’ let our schools be reopened,” he pleaded.
Jubril Ahmad, a 200-Level student of Economics (UDUS), said it was obvious that ASUU was using COVID-19 as a route to get the Federal Government to fulfill its agreements before reopening schools.
He, however, implored the government to use the lockdown to fund schools and improve their facilities.
”The guidelines stipulated by the Federal Government are so paramount which can be effected by the government itself through the provision of funds to schools for successful operation.
This will also go a long way in meeting standards. I am in support of schools reopening any moment from now and than reopening next year,” he said.
Adeniyi Yusuff Olamilekan, a 100-Level student of Mass Communication, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, noted that the 2021 date given by the ASUU was not welcome because it would affect students academically.
He urged the government to provide all the necessary health materials that would prevent students from getting infected and to also change the way schools operated in terms of class size reduction.
Adoyi Peter, a 200-Level student of Medicine and Surgery (Udus), said: “I think the position of ASUU is based on the implementation of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), and Memorandum of Agreement (MoA). However, if it’s otherwise, then they have no reasons to support school closure.
If they say schools should be closed then they are enemies of the students, not the government. If other sectors and institutions are on the run then certainly Federal Government should equally reopen schools based on the COVID-19 guidelines and protocols.”.
Ajala Nafiu, a 200-Level student of Veterinary Medicine, Udus, said ASUU chairman was biased in his statement, despite the fact that the students are highly frustrated and fed up with being locked at home.
“I urge President Muhammadu Buhari to please consider reopening schools soon; we are tired of being in our comfort zone.
We want to strive for our future and I believe COVID-19 is just one of our trials on the road to success. If we stop now, I think the successful future will then look seemingly impossible,” he said.