Back to phase 1: ENDSARS protest might halt University resumption and the closure of secondary schools, nationwide.
The country has been plunged into mass hysteria for 13days (as at the day of this writing) due to the supposed on going peaceful protest from Citizens from virtually all states in the country.
However, let’s recall that before these agitations of these many protesters, the country was in a state of lockdown due to the pandemic that struck the whole world. Guess 2020 is an eventful year afterward. This pandemic led to the closure of Universities, NYSC camps, secondary schools, the business sphere among several others.
Be that as it may, some provisions were put in place to curb the pandemic in the country, hence some sectors of the economy were back on its feet and operating. Of such sectors is the Education sector but with an exemption of the Federal Universities reopening because of the stance of ASUU not to resume until FG sees to their debts. This ASUU strike which started around the same time with pandemic in March 2020 still lingers till now. Maybe ASUU and Covid-19 had a partnership from the beginning of the year.
Following the on-going ENDSARS protest, quite a few things have been happening in the Education sphere.
On one side, the FG has been meeting with ASUU and will still be meeting with them to reach a negotiation on the strike that has lingered for 8 months. This seems like a step towards the reopening of Federal Universities. However, many see this as a ploy to stop people from protesting and holding the government accountable for their supposed misdeeds.
Also, OAU school management released a circular with directives from FG ordering the resumption of staff workers on the OCT 19th.
The FG also did order the reopening of NYSC camps on NOV 10.
All these seem inclined to the reopening of the Federal Universities which gladdens most students heart.
On the other end side of the story which seems like an unfavorable one to students who are already in a dire urge to resume.
Earlier this week, the examination board for NECO canceled the scheduled exams and made claims that it will be postponed on allegations that the ENDSARS might disrupt the whole process and also put a delay on examination officials due to the road blocks.
Following the series of incessant protest, some of which has been hijacked by hoodlums, Commissioner for Education, Mrs Folasade Adefisayo, issued the directive for the closure of Lagos States schools, said it became necessary following the tension generated by the anti-SARS protests in the State, that the safety of the pupils/students, parents and all staff working in schools was paramount “at this critical period.
In Ibadan, many roadblocks have been set up by supposed protesters which resulted to some teachers and other public servants not being able to go to their place of work due to this, some schools had to ask their students to go back home.
Another factor to be considered is the increase in the numbers of Covid-19 cases.
The Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Covid-19, who is also the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, said we should expect an increase in the number of coronavirus cases across the country in the next 2 weeks.
He said “I can say it authoritatively that with the ongoing protest across the country, in the next two weeks the cases of COVID-19 would have increased. Each and everyone that attended the protest and did not put up any form of protection is likely going to spread the virus. When people contract the virus during the protest gathering, they will go back home and spread it.
We all know what will happen if this happens exponentially. It means there might be another phase of lockdown and that would put the Education sector to a momentarily hold.
However it seems the average Nigerian, right now is keen on the social and economic stability of the country than the resumption of academic activities.