Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Kaduna State University (KASU) chapter, has kicked against the university management’s plan to reopen the school after many months of lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic.
The state chapter of the ASUU said it is not yet safe to reopen the institution because of the fear that students might contract the virus as they will mingle freely among themselves during school hours.
Addressing journalists at a press conference on Friday, the chairman of ASUU-KASU, Comrade Tukur Abdulkadir, noted that some weeks ago, 17 out of about 50 medical students who were recalled for examination tested positive to COVID-19.
He said: “As you are aware the management of the Kaduna State University has opened the university and plans to conduct examination beginning from Monday, October 19. To this moment, Kaduna State Government has not officially announced the re-opening of tertiary institutions. Although the 2019/2020 academic session has been significantly affected by Covid-19 lockdown, re-opening the university at this material time is tantamount to trading the lives of students and staff for the conduct of the examination.
“The decision by the management of KASU to re-open is in gross violation of the Covid-19 Protocol as highlighted by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) and the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). This action also violates the standard provision and regulations guiding conduct of university examinations.
“Let this be known to the general public, almost all the guidelines as stipulated by PTF/NCDC are not in existence in Kaduna State University at the moment. Students congregate very closely without facemasks, and hostels are overcrowded. It is on record that some weeks ago, 17 out of about 50 medical students who were recalled for examination tested positive to Covid-19.
“As you may be aware that the university has been closed for more than 7 months, the Kaduna State University Management plans to re-open on October 18, and commence examination by October 19. Students have not been given time for revision (at least 2 weeks as required).
“This will have severe consequences on students’ performance, and therefore undermine the examination. Amongst the infractions associated with planned examinations include: Inability to subject examination questions for external moderation before examination by some departments. This is an important requirement for examination in universities in Nigeria as stipulated by NUC.
“It should be noted that examination is the most important component of any university and strictly an academic affair. The absence of academic staff in the conduct of the examination might tamper with the quality and integrity of the examinations.
“Some newly established departments have covered only a fraction of their syllabus, yet examination will hold in these departments.
“It is clear that the re-opening of Kaduna State University by the university management potent danger and health risk to citizens of Kaduna State. The second wave of Covid-19 has manifested in some countries, with more casualties being reported.
“Kaduna State University is a non-residential university where students come for study and return back home after classes. This therefore stresses the danger for wide spread of the virus”.