The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has urged the Federal Government and members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities to resume academic activities at the nation’s public universities.
The students’ body also ordered its chapters in all tertiary institutions to set up COVID-19 task force teams to enforce all guidelines outlined by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and ensure safe reopening of schools.
NANS President, Sunday Asefon, stated this in a statement made available to The PUNCH on Tuesday.
The PUNCH had earlier reported that ASUU, on December 24, 2020, conditionally suspended its nine-month-long strike after a lot of foot-dragging by the union and the Federal Government.
The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 subsequently ordered schools to remain closed till January 18, 2021 to contain the spike in COVID-19 infections in the country. The National Universities Commission later asked universities to comply with the directive but the PTF on Monday said the January 18 date is subject to review.
Reacting in its statement, NANS said, “Rather than postpone schools’ resumption, it has become imperative to address the alarming spread of COVID-19 and rising cases of deaths from a position of environmental strategy and human coordination since the lockdown mechanism can no longer be a mitigating option in the face of our economic reality.
“The federal government is immediately urged to rethink its approach and take only actions that can get more Nigerians into coordinated and regulated systems, like schools and offices, where hours of wearing face masks and complying with COVID Safety protocols can be guaranteed to curb the spread.
“Consequently, the National Association of Nigerian Students is undertaking to prevail on students union bodies to set up Students Task Force Against COVID-19 in every school, while asking the Federal Government to rejig its basic COVID guidelines for schools resumption.”