Written by Godfrey AKON

NUC orders re-opening of varsities January 18

Despite the looming signs of a possible lock down in the country, the National Universities Commission, NUC, has given Nigerian universities the go-ahead to re-open for academic activities on January 18, 2021.

This comes a few weeks after the commission ordered all tertiary institutions to remain shut indefinitely, in response to the second wave of COVID-19.

The commission however warned universities to adhere strictly to safety measures put in place to curtail the spread of the virus.

It said on resumption of academic activities, universities must not under any circumstance, violate the full circle of semester system, consistent with the benchmark minimum academic standards, BMAS, approved by the National Universities Commission as well as other extant quality standards and guidelines.

Meanwhile, the National Association of Private School Teachers, NAPST, has appealed to the Federal Government not to close down schools beyond January 18, 2021, as a result of the second wave of the COVID-19

National President of the association, Mr Olumhense Akhigbe, made the call at a news conference in Abuja on the plight of private school teachers in the country.

Akhigbe said that if ultimately schools will remain closed as a result of the second wave of coronavirus, there is a need for government to come to the aid of the teachers. “If schools must be closed, then all private school teachers must as a matter of urgency be paid a monthly stipend for the time being.

“This support will go a long way to save our lives, our jobs, and the future of millions of Nigerian children in private schools,” he said.

According to him, already most schools were supposed to resume on January 4, but by government directive through the PTF, resumption was delayed till January 18. “Recall that that was the same way it was done and we stayed six months without any pay in 2020.

They kept on adding two weeks. “So as an association, we are calling on the government to `do the needful, allow schools to operate but just monitor and ensure adherence to the Covid-19 safety guidelines,” he said.

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