A concerned parent has raised the alarm over the decision by Veritas University, Abuja, to reopen the school in violation of the federal government’s directive and advisory by the Presidential Task Force, PTF, on COVID-19.
The Vice-Chancellor of Veritas University, Rev. Fr. (Prof). Hyacinth Ichoku, in a letter dated July 04 to ‘All Staff, Students and Parents/Sponsors on Online Academic Activities during Covid-19 Period’, called for the ‘Return of the Final Year Students to Campus’.
Ichoku said the University’s “Senate has proposed that all final year students should return to campus on July 25, 2020, to complete their science practical, a seat for their final year examinations and project defence”.
According to him, this is expected to last from July 25 to September 30.
“As you are aware, the Coronavirus pandemic has disrupted normal events across the world. In a situation like this, the ultimate responsibility rests with individuals and family members of a given community. As we plan towards welcoming you back for your terminal academic engagements with the university, we would like to make some important remarks to enable you to prepare and be prepared to conduct yourself in ways that would ensure your safety and that of other members of the institution in the context of Covid-19. On our part, management will be implementing a number of strategies consistent with the directives of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in order to safeguard you and other students and staff,” he stated.
But in a chat with our reporter on Friday, the parents who want to remain anonymous to avoid victimizing her children warned that if such a decision is allowed to be implemented, it could spell doom in the nation’s quest to contain the spread of Coronavirus infections across the country.
Like the rest of the world, she noted, schools in Nigeria remain closed and the Federal Ministry of Education released a statement earlier in the week stating that a resumption date is not in near sight as a result of the soaring numbers of COVID-19 infected persons in the country.
“How is it then that some schools like the Veritas University Abuja has issued a letter of resumption to parents, guardians, students, and lecturers? Does Veritas University have the clearance of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, the NCDC, the Presidency and the Federal Ministry of Education or is the university above these authorities,” she queried.
The parent stressed that the living condition in the average Nigerian campus is not delightful and that like others, the Veritas University has a ratio of 20 students to a room in their student hostels.
“How then is this not a recipe for disaster should everyone decide to turn away and allow Veritas University reopen to the detriment of the students. Veritas University must be held accountable and must verify that it has the necessary clearance from the supervisory agencies before reopening,” she demanded.
Speaking further, the concerned parent wondered why Veritas University cannot borrow a leaf from “other universities like Babcock has already conducted online exams and released the semester results”, and queried why the school chooses to delay the final year students any further.
According to her, any student who has successfully completed seven out of eight semesters should not have to be delayed any further by the effects of a global pandemic. She noted that even Ivy league universities are all shut down indefinitely until such a time when the world is out of the eye of the storm, disclosing that Cambridge had released a statement earlier in the year suspending all on-campus studies until 2021.
“How then is Veritas University more knowledgeable that the world? It is our collective responsibility to work towards a COVID-19 free world and charity they say begins at home. This is a desperate call to the appropriate authorities to look into schools that have flouted the directives of the COVID-19 advisory agencies, starting with the Veritas University,” she said.
– Jul. 11, 2020 @ 13:22 GMT |