The Nigerian Universiry lecturers’ union, Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has reiterated its serious objection to plans to reopen universities in Nigeria.
ASUU insisted that Nigerian universities are not ready to re-open amid the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Union is asking the federal government to review the January 18 date earlier fixed and communicated through the National Universities Commission (NUC), as the virus continues ravaging across the country.
“Our concern is rooted in the safety of our members. What happens to congested hostels, crowded classrooms? What flexible arrangements are in place?
It is a situation of emergency. I’m not sure the Universities can cope,” ASUU’s National President, Biodun Ogunyemi, said on Channels Television’s flagship programme, Sunrise Daily.
While analysing the option of e-learning for universities, Ogunyemi said the necessary infrastructure was not in place. “We are aware that some universities are putting measures in place, with alternative learning models.
Some are even trying blended classes, virtual and physical. “But these efforts are limited. They get to a point they can’t go further.
“ASUU has been talking about revitalisation since 2012. These are some of the areas where the assistance would have helped. Universities need huge funds to do this.
“People are saying start virtual classes, but more than 60 percent of our students will run into trouble – they can’t afford data or smartphones.”
ASUU, in December 2020, called off a ten-month-old industrial action over demands relating to salary structure and revitalisation of universities in the country.