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COVID-19: ASUU Warns FG Over Reopening Of Tertiary Institutions

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Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has warned the Federal Government that plans to reopen tertiary institutions without taking concrete steps to curb the spread of COVID-19 would be suicidal.

ASUU raised the alarm saying that the Federal Government should be ready for any possible negative consequences following its plan to reopen tertiary institutions.

The Lagos Zone of ASUU said this while addressing journalists at a press conference held at the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State.

The zonal coordinator of ASUU, Prof. Olusiji Sowande, lamented that the government made arrangements for special bailout funds for airline operators and other private entities but did not extend the same arrangement to public universities.

He cautioned that it is not enough to have the students back on the campuses but that the atmosphere and conditions must also be right.

According to the Coordinator who was flanked by the branch chairmen of the zonal and other officials, accommodations are inadequate, no facility on the ground to carry out physical distancing in large and crowded classes.

He also added that water and electricity supply were not reliable in the universities.

Sowande declared that years of neglect of both the education and health sectors in the country has resulted in inadequate infrastructure and lack of well equipped diagnostic, testing, treatment, and research laboratories in both sectors.

He said;

The response of the public universities to the call by the National University Commission for their readiness to reopen indicated that public universities are not ready.

Presently, hostel accommodations are inadequate, no facility on the ground to carry out physical distancing in large and crowded classes, water and electricity supply are not reliable, etc.

Sowande stressed that;

Reopening tertiary institutions without taking concrete steps to address these issues would be suicidal. While the government made arrangements for special bailout funds for airline operators and other private entities, no such arrangement was made for public universities. Therefore, the government should be ready to take responsibility for any possible negative consequences after the reopening of universities.

Speaking on the ongoing strike, Sowande said the union had written to relevant government agencies with a view to finding steps to putting an end to the industrial action.

He said;

It seems to us that some government officials are benefiting from the prevailing situation. We demand that the OAGF must immediately remit all illegally withheld check-offs and other third party deductions with accrued interests.

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Education

Warning strike imminent, SSANU, NASU

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Speculations to begin a 14-day warning strike on Monday has been made known by the  Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) and Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSANU).

The unions announced this in a letter, dated September 28, 2020, and jointly signed by NASU General Secretary Peters Adeyemi and SSANU President Samson Ugwoke and addressed to branch chairmen of both unions.

The letter reads: “Kindly recall earlier information on the above subject matter wherein it was conveyed that the Joint Action Committee of NASU and SSANU would embark on a 14-day industrial action immediately universities resume, following the COVID-19 lockdown.

The two unions said the warning strike could snowball into full-blown action, if their demands are not addressed by the Federal Government.

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Education

Tertiary institutions in Enugu to be reopened October 12

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ENUGU State government has directed all private and public tertiary institutions  to reopen as from October 12, 2020.

The  Commissioner for Education, Prof. Uche Eze  conveyed this in a statement.

The decision was taken “following the consensus reached with the management of tertiary institutions in Enugu State after series of consultations and the gracious approval of Enugu State government”.

It added that state government also directed the management of each institution to announce the specific date of resumption of academic activities “when the approved guidelines for COVID-19 have been met”.

The statement added: “The State Ministry of Education has set up a monitoring team to ensure that every institution abides by the approved guidelines for safe operations in our schools.

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Education

BREAKING: Osun reopen schools, releases schedules for 2020/2021 academic session

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The Osun State Government has announced new schedules for the reopening of schools in the state.

Consequently, the state government also announced September 21, 2020 as the date for resumption of schools.

All schools in the state would resume in phases with effect from September 21 for an abridged third term of the 2019/2020 academic session.

The state’s Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation, Funke Egbemode, made these known on Monday after the weekly’s State Executive Council meeting.

The statement read in part: “Having conducted an assessment of schools within the State to ascertain the level of preparations for reopening, the government has scheduled schools to resume from the COVID-19 break on September 21st for an abridged third term of the 2019/2020 academic session, which is expected to end on October 30, 2020.

“To make up for lost grounds caused by the COVID-19 induced lockdown, a new academic session (2020/2021 session) is scheduled to commence on November 9, 2020.

“Because of the Yuletide, schools will be expected to take a brief recess from December 24, 2020, to resume on January 4, 2021, for the concluding part of the first term of the new session which is scheduled to end January 22, 2021.

The resumption date for the second term is set for February 1, and scheduled to end April 9.

“The third term of that session commences on April 26, and runs till July 23”, the statement read.

The government further explained that the announced schedule applies only to Primary and Secondary Schools, adding that Tertiary Institutions are also expected to reopen on September 21, but required to plan their schedules.

The State Government enjoined stakeholders to continue to fine-tune their preparations in the coming days towards ensuring a seamless enforcement of the announced schedule.

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