COVID-19: FG’s decision to reopen schools ill-advised – COEASU

The Colleges Of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) has condemned the planned reopening of schools by the federal government amidst the spike in the cases of the deadly Coronavirus disease.

The President of COEASU, Nuhu Ogirima who gave the condemnation in an interview, said it was not a well-thought-out decision.

Ogirima insisted that the government has not done enough in the area of testing for COVID-19 to guarantee the resumption of students.

“How do you ask students to resume for God’s sake? Even the US that has eased lockdown are contemplating going back. They are contemplating another lockdown. I can’t understand what the government is doing. What measures have they put in place? I had they are talking about disinfection, fine, if you disinfect the environment, how likely is it that you can sustain the disinfection while the students are there. Because you must keep disinfecting the environment. They are just going to put the students’ lives at risk. At-risk because your disinfecting once is not enough. Then how can you enforce social distancing given the kind of halls we have as lecture rooms. How are going to do that? What about the hostels? There are hostels where ventilation is not effective. And then are you going to have a constant power supply? How do you ensure that? Because without constant power supply you can’t clear the rooms. That is the students may not be able to use their fans,” Ogirima said.  

He added that “The decision is ill-advised and it is not ideal at all. The more students you have the more there are droplets; the more people you have the more there are droplets. There is one critical area that Nigerians are not looking at. That is those that are advocating for resumption. How many tests has the government done? How many percentages of our population has been tested so far? Less than 200 thousand.  This means that the tests they have conducted is less than 0.1% of our population. By implication, you may have more people that are positive that may not be symptomatic. The students you asking to resume are coming from all parts of the country. We expect this country to go beyond rhetorics. Even Smaller countries in Africa have launched Apps to trace contacts. You have not even funded the institutions and you are asking them to be prepared. Be prepared for what.”

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