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Mass school closure unconstitutional, counter-productive – Afe Babalola

Thu, 14 Jan 2021 Source: Punch

Legal luminary and the founder of Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti, Aare Afe Babalola, on Wednesday condemned the mass closure of schools by the Federal Government over the COVID-19 second wave scare, describing it as unconstitutional and disastrous.

The ABUAD founder, who said the blanket closure was counter-productive, “disturbing, disheartening and have disastrous effect on education of the youth in the country,” said, “I hereby strongly advise that government should stop mass closure of schools.”

Babalola, who spoke in Ado Ekiti at a press conference, said although he would not go to court over the matter, “What I have said is to advise the government of the unconstitutionality of its action. I know the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami; and the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, who is a lawyer will look into it.”

He spoke in reaction to a statement credited to the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, that January 18, 2021, earlier set by the Federal Government for school resumption would be reviewed.

Babalola cited British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, who said, “COVID-19 is a disaster while the closure of schools is more disastrous. Keeping schools closed a moment longer than it is absolutely necessary is socially intolerable, economic unsustainable and morally indecisive.”

Babalola said ABUAD had demonstrated capability and capacity to prevent COVID-19, adding that as part of efforts to keep the campus safe, “in addition to the preventive measures on the ground, any student or staff who travels to high-risk areas are not allowed into the campus until such person must have undergone necessary tests.”

The ABUAD founder, who said it was wrong to have placed blanket closure on schools which complied with the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 alongside those who did not, said, “The proposed review (of the January 18 resumption date) will affect only private schools.

“The public schools are not ready to resume. Of course, that order is directed against private institutions, which had complied with the government order. Again, as it was in 2020 March, there was no consultation with the proprietors of the institutions.”

Source: Punch