The founder of Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti, Chief Afe Babalola, has kicked against the lumping together of private universities with public universities in the blanket of closure since March due to COVID-19.
In a statement he released titled: ‘COVID-19: ASUU vindicated on objection to resumption by public universities’, made available in Ado Ekiti on Sunday, Afe said private schools are ready to reopen.
He said, “This is in sharp contrast to what obtains in private universities, most of which are reputed for their moral and physical discipline, quality and functional education, hygienic and safe environment, predictable academic calendar, absence of unionism, committed teachers, modern teaching equipment and laboratories as well as adequate preparation to prevent COVID-19.”
“I suggest that the NUC, Ministry of Education and the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 should advise the Federal Government on the danger of lumping public and private universities together when considering whether or not to allow universities to reopen.”
“Many of the private universities have full residential facilities for both their staff and students. This makes it possible for teachers in private universities to mentor and monitor their students day and night. Some private universities even have lectures in the night, while some have state-of-the-art teaching hospitals and well equipped medical centres,” he said.
The founder of ABUAD charged the federal and state governments on the need “to concentrate on the provision of the necessary equipment and infrastructure to make the public institutions attractive like their private counterparts.”
He added, “The government should adequately fund education so that teachers can be well paid, while infrastructure, teaching aids and research grants will be readily available for them. It is trite to note that no nation develops without a sound educational system and the foundation is really not in the primary school. It is the university level education, because it is the university that trains other levels.”