Prof. Chinedum Babalola, the Vice-Chancellor of Chrisland University, Abeokuta in Ogun State, on Wednesday advised the Federal Government to stagger the resumption of students to schools.
Babalola, a professor of Pharmacokinetics, gave the advice at the 5th matriculation of the institution, held virtually.
The Federal Government had on Monday released guidelines, outlining actions, measures and requirements needed for safe re-opening of schools in the country.
Reacting to the guidelines, the VC noted that the approach would facilitate compliance with the measures, particularly social distancing.
She urged the Federal Government to reopen schools for students in terminal classes to enable them to finish their education on time.
Babalola stressed the need for increased resumption of socio-economic activities in the country, saying: “We do not know when the coronavirus pandemic will end.
“This pandemic, we do not understand it fully and we do not know when it will end.
“We already know that there is need to observe social distancing, hygiene, wearing of face masks and so on.
“So, to ensure social distancing, we need to stagger resumption of students and we need to re-open schools for students that are in terminal classes and students that will take external examinations.
“Examinations like West African School Certificate is actually not just a Nigerian examination, it is a West African examination and they have announced that it will start in August.
“I believe that while studying and understanding this disease, we should start with the students in terminal classes in all institutions, from nursery to university level.
“At least, the school environment we have can take those finalists if they can occupy the entire school and they will still achieve the social distancing when they space out.”
She appealed to governments at all levels to support private and public schools as well as students with safety gadgets like face masks, hand sanitisers and thermometers.
The vice chancellor also stressed the need for effective monitoring system to enforce strict compliance with the guidelines by the schools, adding that appropriate sanctions should be imposed on erring schools.
The Chancellor and Chairman of the university’s Board of Trustees, Dr. Winifred Awosika, called on the managements of both private and public schools to co-operate with government to facilitate early and safe reopening of schools.
Awosika stressed the need for parents, students and schools to cultivate the habit of maintaining good hygiene when schools eventually open for activities.
Meanwhile, a total of 148 students matriculated from different colleges of the institution.