By G9ija

Lecturers have resumed at Rivers State-owned universities, despite the current strike declared by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

The union had vowed to stay away from classrooms until the government addressed the challenges of infrastructural decay and funding in public universities.

ASUU National President, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi, had threatened that any lecturer who failed to adhere to the union’s directive would be sanctioned.

But the Rivers State University said it had resumed academic activities with strict compliance to COVID-19 protocols.

Its spokesperson Dr. Harcourt Whyte said academic activities had begun in the school.

He said: “We have fully resumed. The university’s Senate met and approved September 5, 2020, for resumption of lectures. We are supposed to take our examination after one week of revision.

“As you can see, both lecturers and students are on campus and we are in full swing. The students are very happy to be back to school, I guess because they were already tired of remaining at home.”

A lecturer in the university’s Department of Mass Communications, who spoke in confidence, also confirmed resumption of academic activities.

Vice Chancellor of Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, Prof. Ozo-Mekuri Ndimele, said the university had concluded plans to resume academic activities.

“We have a committee on COVID-19, comprising about 19 members. We have installed a walk-through gate at the main entrance of the university. We also installed a sanitising machine at the entrance of the administrative block and other major campus entrances.

“We will maintain social distancing in the classrooms. The classes will be split into smaller groups. We also have a holding centre for any person who shows symptoms of COVID-19 to be kept there for 20 minutes before we invite NCDC.”