The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has revealed the reasons it is insisting on closure of universities in the middle of a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
Recall that the National Universities Commission (NUC) directed universities to resume academic activities on January 18.
ASUU, however, is calling on the federal government to review the directive as COVID-19 cases increase across the country.
The President of the union, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, made the union’s position known while speaking on Channels TV Sunrise Daily on Tuesday.
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He said, “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.”
Ogunyemi, when asked if e-learning was a way out of the situation, stated that the necessary infrastructure was not in place.
“We are aware that some universities are putting measures in place, with alternative learning models,” he said. “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 per cent of our students will run into trouble – they can’t afford data or smartphones.”