Afe Babalola, founder of Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti, has urged the Federal Government to consider reopening private universities before their public counterparts.
He said this in a goodwill message at a Zoom meeting of the Pro Chancellors of Private Universities in Nigeria on Sunday.
Babalola said this is “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.”
“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 come 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.”
Educational institutions across the country have been shut since March due to the outbreak of COVID-19. While the country has since reopened some sectors of the economy, schools have remained shut.