By Adejumo Enock
The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has directed all its chapters in tertiary institutions to set up COVID-19 task force teams to enforce all COVID-19 guidelines so as to ensure safe school reopening.
NANS also commended the Government for “galvanizing the entire country to respond to the coronavirus pandemic and in doing everything to access vaccines for Nigerians.”
Recall that on Monday, the Federal Government said it would review the January 18 earlier fixed for resumption of schools across the nation, following the surge in COVID-19 cases in past weeks.
In a statement by the NAN President, Comrade Sunday Asefon on Tuesday, the student body said, “Rather than postpone schools’ resumption, it has become imperative to address the alarming spread of COVID-19 and rising cases of deaths from a position of environmental strategy and human coordination since the lockdown mechanism can no longer be a mitigating option in the face of our economic reality”.
The statement in part reads, “We commend the consistent efforts of the federal government in galvanizing the entire country to respond to the coronavirus pandemic and in doing everything to access vaccines for Nigerians.
“Rather than postpone schools’ resumption, it has become imperative to address the alarming spread of COVID-19 and rising cases of deaths from a position of environmental strategy and human coordination since the lockdown mechanism can no longer be a mitigating option in the face of our economic reality.
Continuing, “Therefore, and at this juncture, the federal government must quickly come to a place of understanding that the majority of Nigerians are living in unorganized environments and structures that are not helping to curb the spread of the virus”.
“Accordingly, the federal government is immediately urged to rethink its approach and take only actions that can get more Nigerians into coordinated and regulated systems, like schools and offices, where hours of wearing face masks and complying with COVID Safety protocols can be guaranteed to curb the spread”.
NANS further stated that “As student representatives and stakeholders, we make bold to state that having students and lecturers on campuses and in schools that are regimented and regulated environment, will help to raise consciousness and the bar of compliance with COVID rules”.
“Consequently, the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) is undertaking to prevail on students union bodies to set up Students Task Force Against COVID-19 in every school, while asking the Federal Government to rejig its basic COVID Guide for school resumptions.
Furthermore, “School resumption will also help the students, teachers, and lecturers to avoid social gatherings, regular travels while concentrating on the task of teaching and researching, which can also help to trigger the need to have a new alternative and approach to fighting the pandemic”
“While COVID-19 is a global pandemic being addressed across different climes, the time has come for us in Nigeria to address this virus based on our peculiarities and limitations”.
“We are open to a dialogue with the federal government should there be a need for cross-fertilization of our ideas and logical arguments”. The statement reads.