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The National Commission (NUC) said it is collecting from universities to assess their readiness for resumption of academic activities.

The commission also said efforts are ongoing to resolve the strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities’ () that threatens to further delay the resumption of academic activities in the universities.

The Executive Secretary of NUC, Abubakar Rasheed. said this during a press conference on the contributions of Nigerian universities to the national response to COVID-19 in Abuja on Tuesday.

closed its tertiary institutions along with lower in March due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Mr Adamu, who was represented at the event by the deputy executive secretary Academics, Suleiman Yusuf, said the Commission is working with universities to discuss preparation that should be in place before reopening.

According to him, universities not under ASUU watch can go back to classes once they have put the necessary guidelines in place.

“We gave a template to vice-chancellors of all universities requesting them to suggest to us what kind of protocols and strategies they are putting in place in the various institutions. We are collecting some of the responses which have already started coming in and at the end of the day the picture should emerge about the extent to which our universities are prepared to reopen for academic activities,” he said.

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ASUU commenced its warning strike on March 9 and declared an indefinite strike on March 23.

ASUU is embarking on the strike over the non-payment of salaries of their members who failed to enrol into the federal government’s IPPIS, a payroll software mandated for all public officials.

Contributions by universities

Mr Rasheed said over 32 universities in the country are involved in research aimed at mitigating the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said the performance of the African Centres of Excellence has proved that world-class research and development is possible in Nigeria.

“Particularly, the Centre for the Genomics of Infectious Diseases at the Redeemer’s , in Sequencing SARS-CoV-2 virus, the collaborative development of vaccines with the University of Cambridge and as a pioneer national testing and screening centre and the other ACES in ABU, BUK, UNILAG, UNIBEN, UNIPORT and UNIJOS that also served as national testing and screening centres have proved that world-class Research and Development work is possible in Nigeria,” he said.

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He said a compendium put together by the Commission showed Nigerian universities are making contributions to development.

”University of Jos which is leading in herbal and natural product development could do more if the federal government releases more funds to such institutions for research purposes.

“As in many other parts of the world, the pandemic has challenged our knowledge system, which has proved inadequate and insufficiently robust enough to respond to the challenges. Only a few institutions have been able to utilise the open and distance learning system to keep students engaged while the pandemic lasted and only few laboratories continued with research and development activities,” he said.

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Premium Times reported how the federal government in June advised tertiary institutions in Nigeria to put preventive measures against COVID-19 in place before they announce their re-opening.

The preventive measures include Installing hand-washing facilities, equipment for body temperature checks and others.

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Abass Sulaiman Adegoke, well known as Adegoke is a student of Federal Polytechnic Ede studying Civil Engineering, He is a media enthusiast, loves traveling, and has a special interest in personal development.

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Education

No reopening of schools for now in Ondo —Govt

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The Ondo State Government said it had not directed or permitted the reopening of primary and tertiary institutions , public or private , in the state while secondary have been permitted to open for only Senior Secondary 3 and Junior Secondary Class 3 .
The government said the directive was in line with its objective of strengthening public safety, protecting the lives of residents , and further mitigating the spread of COVID -19 .
The state Chairman of the Inter -Ministerial Committee on Covid- 19 , Professor Adesegun Fatusi , stated this in Akure , the state capital, on Wednesday .
According to him , all school authorities – both public and private had been ordered to comply fully with the government ’ s directive, to remain closed until the state government expressly permits such .
Fatusi said, “ The Government is very keen to see students return to classes , but in a safe, serene and secured environment . The government would not tolerate any illegal act of re -opening schools contrary to the government ’ s directive .He urged the parents to ensure that their children and ward continued to stay at home until the government directed otherwise .

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Education

SCHOOLS RE-OPENING: Kano to procure N70m PPEs ― SUBEB Chair

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Chairman, Kano State Universal Basic Education Board, SUBEB, Danlami Hayyo on Monday said the state will procure Personal Protective Equipments, PPEs to the tune of N70 million for primary as part of the preparation for safe re-opening of the .
The PPEs include buckets, hand washing liquid soap, hand sanitizer, and face masks among others.
Hayyo stated this while speaking with newsmen on the sidelines of a one-day meeting for stakeholders from the Northwest zone on the readiness for safe re-opening of schools organized by the United Nations Childen’s Fund, UNICEF with support from the donor for GEP 3, Foreign Commonwealth, and Development Office, FCDO held in Kano on Monday.
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The SUBEB Chairman hinted that the state is looking at the possibility of running classes in shifts for the pupils where it has congestion to comply with social distancing and avoid congestion pending the completion of the construction and rehabilitation of some schools with high congestion and that awarded to the tune of N3.2 billion.
He expressed optimism that very soon schools in the state will re-opening as the government is not leaving any stone unturned to ensure safe re-opening of the schools to safeguard the well being and safety of the children.
According to him, “the state government has approved the sum of N70 million to purchase the Personal Protective Equipment, PPEs all in preparation for school re-opening. We have purchased buckets where the children will wash their hands, hand sanitizer, and even face masks to avert the spread of the disease. The amount also includes training for the staff of the schools to ensure compliance and safety of all.
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“On the other hand, government-approved to spend N3.2 billion for the construction and rehabilitation of schools to avoid the congestion of the classroom when they resume.
“We have sent contractors to the sites where we have high congestion and some of the have reached 20%, 30% or 50%, and depending on the capacity of the contractors. And that’s why we engage contractors who can within a short period of time and finish.
“Alternatively and pending when the works will be completed, we are possibly planning to the platoon, to avoid congestion. A situation where some pupils will come in the morning and others in the afternoon to ensure compliance with the social distancing and avoid congestion,” Hayyo however s

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