The Minister of State for Education, Mr Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, has said the Federal Government has started considering full reopening schools.
Nwajiuba said this during the briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 on Monday in Abuja
The minister noted that even though no date has been fixed yet for full schools’ resumption the federal government had continued to engage stakeholders.
He expressed optimism that the date for resumption was around the corner, adding, that ”we are not going to be brandishing dates.”
Nwajiuba said about 78 privately-owned universities were insisting that they were ready for resumption while the response from government-owned universities was still “50-50.”
He said that after aggregating opinions, he would return to the PTF to review the situation and then go ahead to make a pronouncement.
“I urge our students who have actually exercised a lot of patience along with their parents … I urge you to bear with us a little bit more. The rioting needs to stop; there is nothing to riot about.
“We don’t want to bandy around dates,” he said, “We remain positive,” he added.
Nigerian schools have been shut for over three months to prevent further spread of COVID-19 which has caused the death of over 1,000 people in the West African country.
However, students in exit classes, mainly JSS3 and SSS3 students, resumed earlier this month to commence their final examinations.
Meanwhile, the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has vowed to continue the ongoing strike action until the Federal Government meets all its demands.
This was disclosed by the President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Biodun Ogunyemi during the weekend while speaking at an interactive meeting with critical stakeholders at the University of Port Harcourt.
ASUU had in March declared an indefinite strike, citing the Nigerian Government’s failure to meet its demands.
Speaking at the meeting, Ogunyemi said the demands of ASUU were genuine and in the interest of the nation as it concerns the implementation of 2012 universities needs assessment.
The ASUU President bemoaned that the Nigerian universities lecturers still receive the same salary scale of 2009 in 2020, noting that the sad reality must be addressed before ASUU would suspend the strike action.
Ogunyemi said, “So what we are asking of the government are not baseless things, but those things that in 2012, the government conducted during a NEEDS Assessment survey and found out that there is widespread rot and decay in the university system, we are asking that the government implement its own report of 2012.”
“Salary issues are still there; we have not fully addressed that. It appears that some forces in government are bent on making our members to suffer by withholding their salaries. But we believe that once we sort out the issues of the Universities’ Transparency and Accountability Solution, other issues will fall in place.
“The 2009 agreement we had with the government stipulates that that agreement will be reviewed every three years, but since then, we have not been able to review the salary scale.
“That is why we are saying that the negotiation we started with the government in 2017 ought to have been completed and with the completion of that negotiation process, a new salary scale should be in place.
“We are insisting that the process is completed before this ongoing strike is suspended among other things.”
Watch Below: ASUU Strike Not About IPPIS Alone