By Funmilayo Adeyemi
The National Association of Nigerian students (NANS) has appealed to the Federal Government not to further postpone school resumption initially slated for Jan. 18 due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases.
The National President of the association, Mr Sunday Asefon, made the appeal in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday.
The Federal Government had on Monday said that the initial directive of school resumption on Jan. 18, would be subjected to another review considering an upsurge in the number of coronavirus cases.
Asefon said that instead of rescheduling the resumption date, government should create a regulated environment that would help raise consciousness and compliance with COVID-19 rules.
He also said that the association was working toward supporting the government in the pandemic fight by prevailing on students union bodies to set up Students Task Force Against COVID-19 in every school.
“We commend the consistent efforts of the Federal Government in galvanising 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.
“This is because the lockdown mechanism can no longer be a mitigating option in the face of our economic reality.
“Therefore, and at this juncture, the Federal Government must quickly come to a place of understanding that majority of Nigerians are living in unorganised environments and structures that are not helping to curb the spread of the virus,” he said.
Asefon also urged the Federal Government to take only actions that could get more Nigerians into coordinated and regulated systems, like schools and offices, where hours of wearing face masks and complying with COVID-19 safety protocols can be guaranteed to curb the spread.
“As student representatives and stakeholders, we make bold to state that having students and lecturers on campuses and in schools that are in regimented and regulated environment will help to raise consciousness and the bar of compliance with COVID19 rules.
“Consequently, the NANS is undertaking to prevail on students union bodies to set up Students Task Force Against COVID-19 in every school, we also ask the Federal Government to rejig its basic COVID-19 guide for school resumptions,” he said.
The president also noted that school resumption would help the students, teachers, and lecturers to avoid social gatherings, regular travels while concentrating on the task of teaching and researching.
According to him, 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.
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