The National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, has said with strict adherence to safety protocols on COVID-19, all schools in the country, including tertiary institutions, should be reopened by the Federal Government.
This was contained in a press statement endorsed by the Coordinator, NANS Zone D, South-West, Comrade Kappo Samuel Olawale, and the Public Relations Officer, Comrade Olatunji Nurudeen Solace, made available to Vanguard in Lagos on Wednesday.
In the statement, the student body noted that though the pandemic hit many nations across the globe, Nigeria should take appropriate steps to remedy the situation and let the society run as seamless as possible.
NANS noted that feelers from students across the country indicated that many were becoming restless and frustrated and advised the Federal Government to consider reopening of tertiary institutions with strict adherence to safety measures put in place by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
"We understand the serious havoc the ravaging Coronavirus has wreaked. We are not unaware of the whooping sum of money the Federal Government has spent on the treatment of infected Nigerians. It's a clear fact that our economy has been greatly affected. Many Nigerians have been killed by the dreaded Coronavirus. We are all depressed considering the destruction caused by the pandemic. It's our hope that Coronavirus would be a thing of the past soon.
"While we applaud President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government for constituting a dedicated and tireless Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, we also applaud some state governors for the reopening of schools for students in final classes in secondary schools and technical colleges, and for reopening worship centers, market places, and shops.
"However, we are sad about seeing Nigerian students sleeping and waiting without going to school for academic activities. We have received enormous complaints from our colleagues. Some are considering staging massive protests against the government, while some are considering other means of tackling the government over the issue.
We want to assure our colleagues that we are not unmindful of how they feel, but we don't want a situation that would expose our colleagues to the pandemic. We are assuring our colleagues to rest assured that we are loyal to them and not negotiating or mortgaging their interests with the government or anybody.
"There should be no reasons for school closure when other activities are ongoing. Federal Government can reopen school by ensuring social distancing, reduction of numbers of students that would attend class per lecture. Students can attend the lecture in batches as it would be done to those in exit class
"We, therefore, appeal to the Federal Government to ruminate on our position and give it an instantaneous consideration. Our desk is filled with messages, comments, denigration, appreciation, and invaluable submissions from our colleagues. It would be our joy as students' commanders and leaders in the South-West if our position is fairly treated and approved.
"Conclusively, Nigerian students need to be fervent in prayers. We have only witnessed the inception of this ravaging pandemic. We need to pray fervently for it to become a thing of the past. We appreciate Nigerian students for the support and monumental confidence reposed in us. We promise to be more proactive in our dealings and remain loyal to the students who gave us the mandate to lead them," the statement read.
Recall that all schools in the country were closed late March following the outbreak of Coronavirus disease in the country.
Only this week were students in final year classes in secondary schools and technical colleges allowed back to school in some states to let them prepare for their final examinations.