The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has urged management of the schools to put in place student-friendly policies to cushion the effects of the pandemic, as tertiary schools are set to reopen in Lagos State.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu had said Lagos State tertiary schools will reopen on September 14 as part of strategies to gradually ease the lockdown occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sanwo-Olu, who disclosed this on Saturday during the 17th Update on the Management of the Coronavirus Pandemic in Lagos State, said: “We are pleased to announce that tertiary institutions will reopen from Sept. 14, 2020.
“However, as regards primary and secondary schools, we are working toward reopening these institutions anytime from Sept. 21, 2020.
“This decision is not cast in stone and is subject to a review of our ongoing modelling of the state’s response to the pandemic.
The South West Coordinator of NANS, Mr Olawale Kappo, and Chairman, NANS Joint Campus Committee, Lagos Chapter, Mr Rasheed Ogunsanya, gave the advice speaking with NAN, on Sunday in Lagos.
Kappo, who hailed the state government for the decision as well as efforts to tackle COVID-19, said that NANS would not expect any anti-students policies from managements of the institutions.
“We want vice-chancellors, rectors, provosts to key into reformation and remediation agenda of the state and NANS in post COVID-19 era.
“We expect that students yet to complete their semester examinations should be given enough time to revise before sitting for the examinations.
“Tuition fees should be paid with ease or be free, if possible, because most parents are struggling financially due to the pandemic.
“We are delighted at the decision of the governor, as it shows that education remains a priority in Lagos State.
“Governors of other states in South West should emulate Lagos State,” he said.
He said that many students had engaged in enterpereneural activities due to the long ‘holiday’ occasioned by novel coronavirus.
“A large percentage of us has given up on resuming this year which is the reason they engaged in entrepreneurial activities to reduce idleness.
“The decision to reopen schools may mean a pause in activities which they started during the lockdown but I believe we all received the news of school resumption with delight,” he said.
Commenting, Ogunsanya also commended Lagos State Government and education stakeholders for efforts toward reopening of schools.
Ogunsanya, a student of Michael Otedola College of Primary Education (MOCPED), Epe, said that tertiary institutions would need to play their roles toward curbing the pandemic.
“Management of tertiary institutions should provide sanitiser, basins for washing hands, and also fumigate school premises ahead of the resumption.
“In view of the pandemic, schools must make ICT an important tool for teaching and learning by ensuring general classes are taken online.
“They should also break large departments into small units for effective crowd control, and provide Wi-Fi for easy access to online classes,” he said.
Ogunsanya said that tertiary institutions should expand their clinics and retrain medical staff on how to manage students and staff in case of infection.
“If possible, institutions, in collaboration with the state government should carry out COVID-19 test for all students before allowing them into the campuses,” he said.