As Kaduna State University (KASU) reopens on Monday for undergraduate exams after six months’ closure due to Covid-19 pandemic, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), KASU branch, has rejected the resumption.
According to the lecturers, 17 out of 50 medical students who were recalled back to school to write their examinations have so far tested positive for Coronavirus.
But KASU management has refuted the claim, noting that only four medical students were isolated, adding that the school has put in place adequate measures for the students to resume and write their examinations safely.
Chairman of ASUU-KASU, Comrade Tukur Abdulkadir, said, “The management of Kaduna State University has opened the university and plans to conduct examination beginning from Monday, 19th of October, 2020. Kaduna state government has not officially announced the reopening of tertiary institutions.
“Although the 2019/2020 academic session has been significantly affected by Covid-19 lockdown, reopening the university at this material time is tantamount to trading the lives of students and staff for the conduct of the examination. The decision by the management of KASU to reopen is in gross violation of the Covid-19 protocol highlighted by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) and the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
“This action also violates the standard provision and regulations guiding conduct of university examinations. Almost all the guidelines as stipulated by PTF/NCDC are not in existence in Kaduna State University at the moment. Students congregate very closely without facemask, and hostels are overcrowded. It is on record that some weeks ago, 17 out of about 50 medical students who were recalled for examination tested positive to Covid-19.”
He said KASU has not fulfilled the guidelines for safe reopening such as fumigation of the campus and all facilities; safety measures by parents/guardians, staff, other stakeholders, adherence to the PTF/NCDC Covid-19 protocol such as wearing face mask, physical distance, regular hand washing, hand sanitizers in strategic locations, provision of designated screening centres and isolation facilities.
Tukur stated that the university management planned to reopen on Sunday and commence exams on Monday, without giving students at least two weeks for revision as required. “This will have severe consequences on students’ performance, and therefore undermine the examination.
The ASUU Chairman said some departments didn’t subject their examination questions for external moderation before the exams as required by NUC. He equally decried school management’s plan to conduct the exams using postgraduate students and non academic staff, noting that exams are purely academic affair and the absence of academic staff in the conduct might impugn on its quality and integrity.
But the Deputy Vice Chancellor Academics Kaduna State University, Professor Abdullahi Ashafa, debunked the rumour that 17 medical students of the institution have tested positive for Coronavirus.
He noted that 600 level medical students were recalled for exams and four out of 50 of them were suspected and isolated at Hamdala Isolation Centre.
He said, “We have since completed eight weeks community diagnosis, and we are together in the past 16 weeks without any challenge about Coronavirus or any ailment. The postulation of the KASU ASUU chairman is mischievous and devilish. The school is observing COVID-19 protocol as advised by health professionals and relevant agencies.”
He insisted that examination will start on Monday and called on staff and students of the institution to continue their academic activities as the management is taking necessary measures.