The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in the University of Port Harcourt has outlined what they expected to see on the ground as the institution plans to resume for academic activities on February 1, 2021.
The Chairman of the Union in the University, Dr Austen Sado, outlined the expectations of the union while responding to questions on a live radio programme on Wednesday.
Dr Sado, while citing the handwashing facilities in the Union’s Secretariat at the Delta campus, said the dispensers are censored, such that a person intending to wash their hands does not need to touch it, but merely needs to place his hands under to extract soap and water automatically. He said he expects to see a replica of that throughout the University.
“Washing of hands have no value or meaning if every person who comes to that tap must touch the tap to open or lock it. It will then be playing to the gallery. It doesn’t matter how many you have. We are talking about having the right thing.”
He also raised concerns over the number of students per class, demanding that appropriate provisions for spacing must be put in place.
“There are some departments with over three hundred in every level. We want to be sure the lecture theatres that will accommodate students physically, about three hundred of them, are properly spaced out in that classroom. If it is going to be outdoor, we want to see the arrangement,” he added.
Furthermore, Sado called for a decongestion of hostels accommodations, and that the relationship between the Halls of residence and the classrooms must be symbiotic enough to trace people, in cases of COVID-19 related infections.
“In the Halls of residence, universities are overcrowded. We want to be sure that you have the facility and you’re maintaining the physical distance that will reduce the spread of this virus on our campuses,” he said.
Additionally, the ASUU Chairman demanded that there be constant fumigation of the environment on a daily basis to control the spread of COVID-19.
Dr Sado requested that the union be invited by the administration of the University for a tour of the facilities on campus, to access the level of preparedness of the institution to resume for academic activities.
The ASUU Chairman, however, clarified that the members of his union in the institution have resumed, and dispelled any rumours of an industrial dispute between the association and the University, while insisting that the decision of various branches of the union not to resume, due to fears of COVID-19, does not emanate from the national body.
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