Ahead of the resumption of academic activities in schools for graduating pupils, the Nigeria Labour Congress has called for the immediate release of intervention funds to all institutions to enable them to provide necessary safety measures.
The union noted that the reopening of schools needed to be done with due diligence and utmost precaution “given the overcrowded nature of schools at both primary, secondary and tertiary levels”.
The congress said the government should invite all stakeholders in the primary and secondary education sub-sector comprising the Nigeria Union of Teachers, Parents-Teachers’ Associations, Committee of Vice-Chancellors/Provosts of Polytechnics and Colleges of Educations, and the All Nigeria Confederation of Principals of Secondary Schools to deliberate on the way forward on the need to re-open schools.
This is contained in a communique signed by the NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, and made available to journalists on Friday.
It read, “There is a need to create post-COVID-19 re-opening plans and strategies based on the NCDC protocol and guidelines.
“There is a need to re-adjust the Nigerian federal budget for education and implement measures to assist institutions with the financial burden of managing COVID-19. We call for the immediate release of intervention funds to all institutions to enable them to provide needed safety measures.”
The union also stressed the need to train the staff of health centres in universities, polytechnics, colleges of education, secondary and primary schools, both teaching and non-teaching staff, on the handling of pupils and students.
“There is a need to revisit the outsourcing policy of security personnel and cleaners, especially in institutions of higher learning to enable the institutions to have full control of the security personnel and cleaners, as private cleaners and security personnel cannot guarantee the health and safety of staff and students,” the union noted.
It also called for expansion of classrooms to ensure observance of the social distancing, and fumigation of school premises and buildings.
It recommended the provision of free internet bandwidth in all institutions for members of staff and students within and around the school premises.