The Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) has said students of tertiary institutions have stayed at home for too long due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The union insists learners cannot remain out of school indefinitely, adding that the authorities must devise means of preventing the collapse of the education sector.
The federal government shut down all schools in March 2020.
In October, before the emergence of the second wave, primary and secondary schools were allowed to open but tertiary institutions remained closed since.
But schools below this level will resume on January 18, 2021, amid the spike in the number of cases and deaths.
In his reaction, COEASU President, Nuhu Ogirima said though against reopening were good reasons, it was inimical to keep students at home in perpetuity.
The union head stressed that it has gotten to a level where the country must move on by devising means of living with the dreaded virus-like every other disease causative agent.
Ogirima agreed with concerns that institutions need the requisite facilities, safe and appropriate environment for a meaningful teaching-learning process.
He added that fears about compliance with safety protocols by students and staff were in order.
Ogirima, however, noted that since it has been established that even those who received vaccines still need to use a face mask, the government and stakeholders must come up with strategies to adjust to reality.
“We cannot continue to keep students at home indefinitely. In my opinion, proven prophylactic and curative measures would need to be taught in all institutions if physical academic activities were to be fully resumed.
“Otherwise a resort to online academic work would become an imperative for tertiary institutions”, the COEASU leader said.