Written by Godfrey AKON

Covid-19: private universities seek reopening

Nigeria’s 79 Private universities have launched an appeal to the National Universities Commission, NUC, to convince government to allow them to reopen.

Committee of Vice Chancellors of Private Universities, CVCPU, which made appeal in a letter to the NUC, warned that continuous closure of the institutions may have dire consequences on their academic calendar.

CVCPU Chairman, Prof Timothy Olagbemiro, signed the letter on behalf of the vice chancellors, stating that in compliance with the NUC’s directive of March 20, 2020, that all schools should be shut to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the institutions were shut down.

Olagbemiro said “In compliance with the NUC’s directive of March 20, 2020, that all schools should be shut to prevent the spread of COVID-19, our students were sent home. Since then, with Federal Government’s permission, we have maintained online academic activities with these students so as not to irredeemably truncate their progress.

“We have also resolved to mobilise relevant resources in our universities across the country to undertake research that addresses the challenges of the pandemic for the wider benefit of the Nigerian populace and the world as a whole.

“We are pleased to have proactively and productively engaged with the complexities and complications arising from the pandemic in the last three months of closure. However, we have noticed with a heightened sense of trepidation that serious distortion and damage, in relation to academic calendar and resource base, await our institutions, should the closure of universities be prolonged beyond the next one month.

“Ultimately, the preparation of our students for a productive future may be compromised and this will not augur well for a country that is still grappling with employment challenges for its graduates,” he said.

 “Considering the ample capacities in most of our hostels and classrooms, along with other facilities, the committee decided to develop a comprehensive plan that can enable our universities reopen and operate safely within the ambit of the COVID-19 protocols as enunciated by the government.”



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