COVID-19: Tertiary Institution Students Declare Protest Against Closure Of Schools

The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) have scheduled a peaceful demonstration for September 1, to demand the reopening of schools nationwide.


Olufemi


Recall that in March, the federal government, through the Ministry of Education, ordered an indefinite closure of all schools across the country to curb the spread of COVID-19.

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The virus has so far been contracted by over 51,000 people across the country, killing more than a thousand.

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There have been agitations from different quarters, including teachers’ unions and students’, calling for a total reopening of schools since commercial and political activities have resumed.

The government, in the past two months, has continued to assure that the schools will be reopened in no distant time. It is, however, yet to come up with a specific date.

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Meanwhile, in a statement issued by the leadership of the Joint Campus Committee (JCC) of NANS in Osun State, a mass action has been slated to hold on Tuesday at Olaiya Junction in Osogbo, the state capital.

The statement was signed by Agbogunleri Michael, Ogunsakin Femi, Raji Keji Asimiyu; the Chairman, Secretary-General and Public Relations officer respectively.

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“It stabs logic that a nation which ought to prioritize Education has relegated it to the least important of issues to be discussed and attended to with respect to eased restrictions, regardless of our consultation efforts to see to the opening of Schools government has turned deaf ears to the yearnings of the average Nigerian Student; This is unacceptable,” the committee’s executives, stated.

The student body, in its demands, said the federal government should reopen schools and put preventive measures in place on all campuses.

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It added that education should be appropriately funded while imploring the federal government to reach a consensus with aggrieved members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASSU) who have vowed not to resume until the government yields to their welfare demands.

Speaking with PREMIUM TIMES on Saturday, the spokesperson of NANS in the southwest, Kazeem Olalekan, said the association is embarrassed by the manner in which the government is handling the issue of school resumption.

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He said the government at all levels has failed to take a decisive step in ensuring that academic activities commence.

“Though, we acknowledge that the debate on reopening of schools at a time like this is prone to mixed reactions, albeit, we are not oblivious of the fact that the disagreement cannot be disconnected from lack of political will linked to years of unseriousness and recklessness on the part of our political officeholders. However, it must be made known that at the receiving end of this indecisiveness are students that are left idle at home with nothing worthwhile being done to ensure that students resume to classes.

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“It is on record that the World Health Organisation has hinted to the world that COVID-19 is not leaving us any moment from now, hence, there is a need for the government to take a decisive step in ensuring that schools reactivate learning activities,” Mr Olalekan said.

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[Premium Times]

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