Post COVID-19: Hope rises for universities as minister assures of resumption
The long drawn forced holiday for students of higher learning which has made them idle and bored for want of what to do on account of COVID-19 pandemic may soon come to an end.
This is just as the Minister of State for Education, Hon. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, on Monday, assured Nigerian students that tertiary institutions across the country will reopen very soon.
The Students had resorted to compelling the authorities to reopen schools having been locked ip for months through protests.
Although the minister did not give a specific date for the re-opening, he urged the students to stop protesting.
He noted thst the ministry is working to articulate the situation report from the National Universities Commission, NUC, and other regulatory bodies of various tertiary institutions and present to the Presidential Task Force, PTF on COVID-19 for evaluation.
Nwajiuba, who disclosed this while responding to questions at the Presdential Task Force briefing in Abuja, added that the ministry has received calls from private universities and public universities for reopening of tertiary institutions in the country.
“There have been a lot of improvement, however, the guidance we have given and for which we are receiving feedback from many institutions are the moment includes a germut of items that you need to prepare and we don’t want them to just be fasads, we want content around them and we are going to go back to see if people have complied with those requirement.
“This morning, myself and minister of education, Mallam Adamu Adamu,the executive secretary of NUC and permanent secretary all met and we have been at it since morning. We have reviewed responses from about 78 universities already and most of them are private universities who are already insisting that they are ready to go. We also have 50 responses from state owned universities and we are working to upscale that and make sure that everybody is ready to go.”
He added “When all of these is taking in context, we will have them back at PTF so that all the various players in the PTF family will then review it so that we can give a go ahead so that schools can reopen.
“We are positive that that time is around the corner, but we don’t want to bandy around dates, we just want to remain positive and the sooner we can get that, the better.
“I urge our students who have actually exercised a lot of patience and bear with us a little bit more. The rioting needs to stop. There is nothing to riot about. We are in full negotiation with ASUU.”