THE Committee of Vice-Chancellors of Private Universities (CVCPU) has appealed to the federal government to reopen private universities for on-campus learning stating that the continued lockdown will do more harm than good to academic calendar and resource base, should school closure be extended beyond the next one month.
The body assured that private universities will strictly comply with the Covid-19 safety guidelines put in place by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in conjunction with the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 adding that the body has come up with a robust plan that can enable them to reopen and operate safely vis-à-vis Covid-19 protocols.
This is contained in a letter signed by the Chairman of CVCPU who is also the Vice-Chancellor of Edwin Clark University, Professor T. O. Olagbemiro and addressed to the Executive Secretary of NUC, Professor Abubakar Rasheed.
“We have noticed with a heightened sense of trepidation that serious distortion and damage, in relation to academic calendar and resource base, await our institutions, should the closure of Universities be prolonged beyond the next one month.
“Ultimately, the preparation of our students for a productive future may be compromised and this will not augur well for a country that is still grappling with employment challenges for its graduates,” the letter reads in part.
“Considering the ample capacities in most of our hostels and classrooms, along with other facilities, the CVCPU decided to develop a comprehensive plan that can enable our universities to reopen and operate safely within the ambit of the COVID-19 protocols as enunciated by the Government.
“The central elements of this plan include; advisory to parents, institutional initiatives, resumption modalities, fumigation, hand washing, hostel facilities and cafeterias and in-campus transportation”, the communiqué read.
The Committee also lobbied the NUC boss to make a strong case with the government to allow the universities to reopen for on-campus delivery of teaching and learning within the next one month.
“We are confident that, with your dynamic attention to a healthy and quality university system in Nigeria, you would consider our request with the seriousness and timeliness that it deserves”, the body added.