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Students React As ASUU Advises FG On Reopening of Schools

Nigerian students have shown their dissatisfaction over the advice given by the President of the Academic Staff Union of the Universities, Prof.Biodun Ogunyemi to the federal government, urging the FG not to reopen schools until it is safe for Nigerian students. Additionally, Biodun Ogunyemi noted that University students are not resuming even after the Covid-19 pandemic until the federal government solves two major crises, the current health crisis and the refusal of the government to revitalize universities.

Recall that the federal government recently unveiled a 52-page guideline for reopening schools and urged all schools across Nigeria to implement these guidelines before the 29th of this month.

Nigerian students have shown their discontentment over the statement made by the ASUU chairman and have also confirmed that ASUU is 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 Academic Staff Union of the Universities.

“Nigerians should accept the fact that this pandemic has come to stay with us for the time being, let’s 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 in UDUS, said that it was obvious that the ASUU is only fighting for its selfish interest and also using COVID-19 as a route to let the federal government fulfil all their agreements before reopening schools.

He, however, implored the federal government to have a dialogue with them in order to settle their differences.

“The guidelines stipulated by the federal government are so paramount which can be effective by the government itself through the provision of funds to schools for successful operation on which will also go a long way in meeting up with the standards. I am in support of school reopening any moment from now and against its reopening next year,” he said.

Adeniyi Yusuff Olamilekan, a 100-Level student of Mass Communication in the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, noted that the advice given by the ASUU is not a welcome idea because it will surely affect the students, academically.

He urged the FG to provide all the necessary health materials that will prevent the students from contracting the deadly virus and to change schools mode of operation in terms of a full class.

Adoyi Peter, a 200-Level student of Medicine and Surgery in UDUS, said:

“I think the position of ASUU is now 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 FG. If other sectors and institutions are on the run then certainly FG should equally reopen schools based on the COVID-19 guidelines and protocols.”

Ajala Nafiu, a 200-Level student of Veterinary Medicine in UDUS said that ASUU chairman is biased in his statement, despite the fact that the students are highly frustrated and fed up with being locked at home.

“I urge President Muhammad Buhari to please consider reopening of 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 urged.

Mubarak Ambursa, a 200-Level student of Law, UDUS, told Campus Reporter that he is in support of the statement made by ASUU Chairman Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, on the reopening of schools. He noted that the schools should not reopen until the federal government makes provisions for well-equipped health facilities to curtail the spread of COVID-19.

“I appeal to the Federal and States government to do the needful in providing the necessary apparatus to comply with measures spelt out by NCDC, and to act with vigour in suppressing the challenges bedevilling our educational sector,” he appealed. 

Imam Hassan, a 300-Level student of Law at the University of Ilorin, advised the federal government to stop paying the salary of the Academic Staff Union of the Universities till the time when the schools are reopened.

While speaking with Abdulkareem Habeeb, a 200-Level student of Law in UDUS, he explained that he felt so disappointed when he heard about the assertion made by the ASUU Chairman and he advised the FG not to heed to their suggestion.

“They should open the schools for us because we are tired of staying home, we need to continue building our future. We need to go back to school, they should remember that we are the leader of tomorrow,” he emphasised.

In an Interview with Alakoso Khaleel Ibrahim, a 300-Level student of Sociology at UDUS he said that the government would have reopened schools if the educational sector was generating revenue for the federal government and would have even gone ahead to coerce ASUU to resume compulsorily. 

“Regarding the statement made by the ASUU chairman Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, I was so confused when I saw the news, noting that they won’t resume, even if the pandemic ends, it’s appalling and exasperating ASUU itself is a pandemic to Nigeria education,” he said, noting that he felt devastated.

Gemapera Joseph, a 200L student of Political Science in UDUS said: “It is quite unfortunate for such statement to have emanated from ASUU chairman, more so that it is coming at a time FG is tirelessly working out modalities to ensure schools reopening. It is a clear indication that ASUU is relaxed, and thus feel unbothered about the plight of the students. This is even as their salaries keep coming unhindered.”

He, however, urged the FG to continue finding ways to ensure that students return to class and also pointed out that if after reopening of schools, ASUU refuses to resume, he advised the FG to impose a “No work; No pay” rule on them. 

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