From Chijioke Attah, Nsukka
The Catholic Bishop of Nsukka Diocese, Most Rev. Prof. Godfrey Onah, has appealed for the immediate resumption of schools at all levels in the country.
Speaking against the backdrop of the ultimatum given by the national Students Union Government to the federal government on the resumption of schools, Onah said he was joining his voice to that of the students in pleading with those in authority to get the children back to school.
He wondered why some countries would be opening their economies, while hesitant about the re-opening of schools, churches and other places of worship.
This development, according to him, was wrong as countries cannot run on economies alone.
“We need values and these values are naturally transmitted by religion and proper education,” he said.
The Catholic cleric called on people in government to urgently do whatever that needs to be done to gradually return the children to the environment of formation and education.
He argued that there was a sense of injustice and sin sustaining the continued closure of schools in Nigeria because several of those in high places in government in Nigeria have their children in private universities or universities outside the country, where lectures are going on online, while children of the poor are loitering at home with most of them unable to resist the temptation to crime.
The Pro-chancellor of the Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT), frowned at the threat by university teachers to embark on strike whenever schools were reopened, pointing out that the situation can no longer be defended.
According to him, “whereas we support whatever effort teachers may make to use legitimate means of getting what is their right, they should bear in mind it is immoral or to use a simpler term sinful for them to continue to be paid for work they are not doing,” he said.
He argued that whatever may be the disagreement between university teachers and the government, that disagreement must not be settled at the expense of students and their parents.
The Bishop called for all hands to be on deck to return “our children to schools in such a way as to protect them from coronavirus and also protect them from the greater virus of crime and idleness.