A member of House of Representatives, Hon. Aniekan Umanah, has urged major stakeholders in the national polity and other agencies involved in containing the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic to resist the temptation of further keeping students at home.
Umanah made the call in an open letter on Thursday.
According to Umanah, the call was pursuant to averting the attendant brain drain associated with the continued closure of institutions of learning across the country, where majority of students have already lost a full academic session as a result of COVID-19 lockdown and the recently resolved Academic Staff Union of Universities strike.
Umanah in an open letter stressed the need for students to go back to school rather than succumb to threats of community spread of the Coronavirus Disease.
He also stated that Nigerians should be encouraged to embrace the new normal through the observance of all preventive protocol recommended by the World Health Organisation, Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.
His letter reads: “As Nigerians await the January 18, 2021 schools reopening, amid calls for further extension of the date due to the ravaging Covid-19 pandemic, I wish to call on major stakeholders in the national polity including the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 (PTF), Nigerian Center for Disease Control (NCDC), Federal Ministry of Education and the Nigerian University Commission (NUC) to resist the temptation of further keeping Nigerian Students at home.
“This call is pursuant to the urgency of averting the attendant brain drain associated with the continued closure of institutions of learning across the country, where majority of students have already lost a full academic session because of both Covid-19 inflicted lockdown and the recently resolved industrial action by members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
“It is on record that despite the second wave of the ravaging pandemic, markets, airports, recreational parks, malls, worship centers and an extensive array of national endeavours had since opened for businesses, which leaves every sane member of the society worried as to why schools; the most critical aspect of our national development should remain closed and staggered.
“Rather than succumb to threats of community spread of the Corona Virus disease, Nigerians should be encouraged to embrace the new normal through the observance of all preventive protocol recommended by the WHO, PTF, NCDC and healthcare authorities with priority accorded respiratory and hand hygiene, physical distancing and correct use of facemasks as they return to school; considering smarter learning options with reduced contacts.
“I pledge my support for every conversation that will deepen the management of the Covid-19 pandemic and indeed the productivity of our education sector to help expand the frontiers of national development and particularly the future of our children.”