Recently, a viral video has been circulating among students. In the video, the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, made a statement affirming that tertiary institutions re-open on the 7th of September, next month. This article exposes all the goings-on that have happened behind the scenes. Stick with me.
First, I would like to state that the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has demanded, through the Zone D coordinator, Kowe Amos, that universities re-open in NIgeria. The body made this statement just after the federal government approved the date for commencement of the WAEC examinations.
In his statement, he noted that the refusal of authorities to take proactive steps shows a “lack of political will linked to years of un-seriousness and recklessness on the part of our political office holders.” He concluded that the result of this indecisiveness is students who are idle, and unoccupied.
However, the federal government has assured the NANS that all schools in the country will re-open as soon as it is safe to do so. The Chairman of The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on the pandemic and Secretary to the Federal Government, Boss Mustapha, made this assurance. He said,
“Today, the Senior Secondary School Certificate (SSCE) examinations commenced all over the country and the PTF is happy to note the high level of compliance with the protocols of the reopening. It is in this light that we appreciate the call of the NANS for the re-opening of tertiary institutions.”
He further stated that education was on the very top of the priority list. Nevertheless, the reopening will be done within set safety guidelines.
In this light, the Federal Ministry of Education has therefore dismissed and denied the report and video, stating that the purported announcement did not originate from the Education Minister. According to them, “ALL students, parents, and guardians are hereby informed to disregard all unconfirmed news and video on the resumption of schools as the official date is yet to be confirmed.”
Nevertheless, there are strong indications that schools will re-open this year—probably September, or October. The reason for this is not far-fetched. The National Universities Commission (NUC) has directed all Vice-Chancellors to ascertain their level of preparedness for reopening; as regards strategies and procedures they are putting in place to ensure safety.
The NUC stated that encouraging responses have been coming in. Meanwhile, the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University (COOU) formerly Anambra State University (ANSU) have re-opened. They are expected to start their first semester examination on the 20th of August, which is tomorrow.
Finally, the Academic Union of Universities (ASUU), through its president, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, has advised the government against re-opening of schools at this time, mainly because the pandemic is still ravaging the country.
According to him, the Federal Government needs to address the challenges of the education sector and provide an ideal environment for reopening. He said, “They have brought out guidelines and conditions for school resumption. They must now supervise and ensure that these conditions are met.”
As I said before, a majority of the student population in Nigeria are not ready—mentally or otherwise—for schools to re-open. If, however, you are, do let me know in the comments. Have wonderful day.