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Alba Iulia
Saturday, February 27, 2021

Students to govt: reopen varsities, others

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School reopen

Students in tertiary institutions across the country have lamented the continued closure of schools as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

It has been  months now since the Federal Government ordered the closure of schools due to the coronavirus  pandemic ravaging the world.

Many students  anticipated early date of resumption, but the government still deem it unsafe  to re-open schools, even now.

Before the closure, most schools were about to start exams, while some were  beginning  the semester. It is even more difficult for the final year students who were preparing for their project  defence or just finishing their exams.

Three months into the closure, students of tertiary institutions are tired of the long ‘vacation’ and want the government to consider re-opening schools as soon as possible for them to cover lost grounds.

Emmanuel Adewale, a final year student of Olabisi Onabanjo University, tagged it “an unwholesome experience” because he had planned to graduate this year.

“As a final year student who planned on finishing school this year, it hasn’t been a good experience,” he said.

For Mayowa Adeolu, a student of the Tai Solarin University of Education, the closure has been a nightmare because it has delayed academic activities.

He said: “I see this as a time waster for my studies because by now I ought to have finished writing exams and already in another semester but there is no hope for resumption yet. Staying at home has been tiring for me. I just hope we can resume soon.”

Hannah Shobiyi, a student of Covenant University, said it was difficult to read and concentrat at home. She appealed to the Federal Government to re-open schools as there are lost grounds to cover.

Tunde Olusola, a student of Marketing at the Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, is saddened because he thought the closure would last two weeks.

He complained of ineffective online classes, noting that much work remained to be done.

“ We are really lagging behind. There are lots of ground to cover by our lecturers. While I was leaving for home from school, I thought it was a two-week closure, I didn’t come with any of my notes or textbooks. This makes me sad, it has even been long I read,” he said.

The closure of schools has not  only affected Samuel Uzor, a Masscommunication student of The Polytechnic, Ibadan,  academically but financially.

He said: “The continued closure of school has really affected me not only in my studies, but in my business. As a fashion designer, I sew clothes for my coursemates who are my target customers. Unless school reopens, patronage will continue to be non-existent.

In the same vein, Favour Martins, a 100- level student at the Federal College of Education, Anambra, said it affected her academically and business wise because she sold things to students on campus.

She said: “It has affected my income.I augment what I get from my parents with the proceeds of what I sell on campus.

But ever  since the lockdown, I have been at home and my parents have stopped giving me money.”

Another student, Moses Andrew, 300- level Business Administration at the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, said it had really affected their session.

And as the year pans out, he doubts if normalcy would return. He noted that they ought to have started a new semester but they had not concluded the one before the lockdown.

On her part, Comfort Oyekunle, a 400- Level Economics student of Crawford University, said the continued closure of schools would negatively impact learning outcomes as students have little or no motivation to read at home.

School also serves as hubs of social activities and interaction. Students will continue to miss out on physical and social contact which are essential to learning and development.

She added that the best option was to allow schools to reopen as nothing can be compared to physical classes.

Folami Ogunsina, a student of the Osun State Polytechnic, said it was time the government reopened schools because, it would be difficult to correct the lapses in their studies.

He said:  “There are lots of academic work to be done. Even before the closure, students clamoured for extended lecture periods. I am  not sure if we can ever cover our syllabus because our lecturers won’t have the time again.”

A Business Administration student of Lagos State Polytechnic, Sunday  Adebayo, said   he would have agreed to the government’s  decision on staying at home if the online classes were functional and effective. He urged the government to reopen schools to avoid churning out mediocres as graduates.

Apart from ineffective and non existent online classes, Barakat Jimoh, a student of the Obafemi Awolowo University, noted that the closure had caused ‘amnesia’ for her.

“I have been at home for months, sleeping and waking. I now find it difficult to recollect anything I read. Also, the motivation to read is no longer there.

The only thing the government can do is to allow us resume school. My younger brother is also at  home seeking admission. No one  knows if he will be able to gain admission this year”

Precious Gbala, an undergraduate of the University of Medical Sciences, Ondo State, stated that the lockdown which had crippled academic activities was making her unproductive because she spent her time on social media to arrest boredom.

She said:” This pandemic has led to the delay in our academic activities and really it has had lots of effects on me. But the reality is that a larger percentage of us students are actually being unproductive due to this lockdown. So, I think, in a nutshell, this pause  in academic activities has done more harm than good.”

On her part, Mojisola Amoniyan, Olabisi Onabanjo University(OOU), Ago Iwoye, decried the lockdown, saying it has affected her studies to a large extent because, according to her, online classes were not as effective as practical classes. She added that the truncation of the school calendar was part of the drawbacks of the stay-at-home.

“The COVID-19 lockdown has really  affected me as a student because  classes that are supposed to be practical are being taught online, it cannot be as easy as being taught by the lecturer who prepared the study pack.

“Sadly, it will certainly change the school calendar since almost every sphere of human endeavour is shut down,” she complained.

Expressing her displeasure, Busola Adediran, a 400-Level Law student of the University of Lagos, said: “When schools were asked to shut down by the Federal Government, I saw it as an opportunity to read in preparation for the resumption.

But, after a while, I lost the focus to read because of boredom. Again, my monthly allowance got slashed by my parents.”

Bola Ogunyemi, a final year Law student of the University of Ibadan, said he ought to have been preparing for his final year papers and defending his project, but the reverse was the case. He has to find a way to cope and move on with the next step on his life.

He said: “I am not so sure if I will be able to cope again since everything has been  disrupted.  Now, only God knows if we will ever get the chance to serve this year.

I never imagined this kind of situation. I have also stopped all other programmes I am into. It is  a big setback for me.”

Despite the fact that Chris Enechukwu, a 200-Level Economics student of University of Ilorin, finds  reading at home very difficult, the closure has  given him quite enough time for reflection and to take new steps towards  self improvement.

He said: “For me, reading at home has been at a really slow pace, unlike when I was in school. It is a time-wasting exercise, but then, the prolonged resumption has given me  quite a lot of time to reflect and take new  steps towards improving myself.”

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