Lecturers can’t enforce social distancing in schools, ASUU insists.

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It's unsafe to reopen varsities now, COVID-19 guidelines absent – ASUU –  Punch NewspapersMeanwhile, ASUU has said it cannot guarantee social distancing in crowded classes and congested hostels.

The union also said the government is yet to put safety measures in place at learning centres in the wake of the second wave of the pandemic.

Speaking on a live TV programme yesterday, ASUU’s National President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, said the safety of university lecturers and students is a priority.

He stated that the union is worried that university professors are dying of COVID-19.

“We have not seen government and university authorities taking concrete steps to access the level of safety for our members and for our students.
“Inasmuch as we are ready to go back, we are ready to put in extra efforts but it appears that government is not doing enough to address the two emergencies that we have – the emergency in the health sector as well as the emergency in the educational sector.

“Take for instance, how can we ensure or assure social distancing in crowded classes and congested hostels? Our hostels, are they fumigated? The classrooms, what flexible arrangements should be in place? I’m not sure universities can cope,” he added.

In line with the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 directive that schools to resume on January 18, 2021, the National Universities Commission (NUC) has asked universities to comply with the directive.

However, the ASUU president said the NUC and the government are yet to enforce all guidelines in the universities.

Ogunyemi added that lecturers are working on an alternative mode of learning, noting that some lecturers will blend virtual and physical classes to avoid overcrowding and maintain social distancing at universities.

“But the universities don’t have functional ICT (Information Communications Technology) infrastructure and you need some huge funds to do this,” he stated.

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