Stakeholders in the education sector in Kogi have called on the State Government to strictly adhere to the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) guidelines on COVID-19 before reopening schools in the state. They made the call in a Communique issued at the end of a meeting in Lokoja on Tuesday.
The stakeholders are: the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools (ASSUS), Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) and College of Education Academic Staff Union (COESU).
The communique was signed by the state Chairman and Secretary of the NLC, Mr Onuh Edoka and Mr Oladipo Owoeye, respectively.
According to them, the state government should provide infrastructure that will aid enforcement of protocols stipulated by the NCDC to curb the spread of COVID-19 before reopening schools.
” Re-opening of schools in Kogi needs to be done with due diligence and utmost precaution to prevent the spread of Coronavirus that has been ravaging the world, including Nigeria,’ they said in the communique.
The stakeholders explained that their position was informed by the “apparent and very obvious ” fact that schools in the state were overcrowded.
” If tangible measures are not taken before the schools resume, it will definitely pave way for the spread of Coronavirus to unimaginable proportion.
“That is why the congress unanimously resolved at the end of our meeting today that government should do the needful to avoid unforeseen circumstances in Kogi as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, ” the stakeholders said.
They further called on the state government to provide insurance cover and palliatives for all categories of staff in the institutions.
“Employers should also implement provision for excess load work allowance as it is contained in the scheme of service where it is applicable for lecturers and non -teaching staff,” the unions said.
They also advised government to urgently organise a Stakeholders Summit to deliberate on a way forward for the reopening of schools in the state.
They suggested that stakeholders such as the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Parent/ Teachers Association (PTA), chancellors, former Vice Chancellors , provosts , rectors , principals, headmasters, proprietors should be invited to come and air their views.
Edited By: Abdullahi Yusuf (NAN)
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