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Reopening: Prioritise private varsities, Afe Babalola tells FG

Afe Babalola

The founder of Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti, Chief Afe Babalola, has expressed disappointment with the federal government for not giving consideration to private universities in the plan to reopen schools that were shut in March due to the outbreak of COVID-19.

COVID-19

Babalola, who said both private and public universities, had been left out by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in its daily briefings, made the assertion in a goodwill message at a Zoom Meeting of the Pro Chancellors of Private Universities in Nigeria on Saturday.

In the message made available to journalists in Ado Ekiti yesterday, the ABUAD founder recommended that “private universities should be given the first consideration for resumption”.

This, he said, was “on account of the moral and physical discipline, quality and functional education, hygienic and safe environment, predictable academic calendar, absence of trade unionism, committed teachers, modern teaching equipment and laboratories, and adequate preparation to prevent COVID-19 as well as fully residential status of private universities.”

Babalola added, “Private universities are fully residential for both the students and staff. As a result, the students in private universities are better disciplined, better and easier to control, better mentored unlike their counterparts in public university 80 per cent of who comes from home in public transport. Most, if not all, of the private universities, have their campuses fenced with full control over who comes in and who goes out.

“I believe that most private universities have complied or are in a position to comply with the provisions required by the PTF before the universities can reopen. I, therefore, suggest that the Pro-Chancellors should ask any university that has all the requirements to apply for inspection of the university and where a university has all the equipment and materials, it be given approval to reopen.”

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