Academic activities in the nation’s ivory towers would soon kick off with the National Universities Commission directing Vice-Chancellors of Universities to commence academic activities on January 18. The announcement was in compliance with the directive of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
It had been reported that the Academic Staff Union of Universities had been on strike for about 10 months which was suspended on December 23 2020 during a crowded press conference addressed by ASUU National President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, at the University of Abuja. The NUC in a statement by its Deputy Executive Secretary (Administration), Chris Maiyaki, on behalf of the Executive Secretary, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, obtained on Friday morning said any further developments would be communicated to Universities accordingly.
The commission, however, directed officers on Grade Level 12 and below to remain at home for a period of five weeks as earlier directed by the Federal Government. According to the NUC, the new directive became a necessary sequel to several enquires on the full import of the commission’s previous letter with Ref. No. NUC/ES/138/Vol.63/151 and dated December 23, 2020, on the issue. Maiyaki told universities to safeguard lives by strictly adhering to the extant safety protocols and guidelines of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, which have been communicated severally to them through NUC circulars.
He said, “I am to add that universities on the resumption of academic activities, must under no circumstance violate the full cycle of the semester system, consistent with the Benchmark Minimum Academic Standards approved by the NUC, as well as other extant quality assurance standards and guidelines.”