By Chaturanga Samarawickrama
The Federation of University Teachers’ Association (FUTA) yesterday requested the University Grants Commission (UGC) Chairman to explain the logical basis behind his decision to reopen the universities in May.
While issuing a statement, the FUTA General Secretary said the entire world has come to a standstill due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Though the situation in our country appears to be under control compared to many countries, the daily patient count is on the rise and more importantly the epidemiologists and medical experts have not ruled out the possibility of a surge in the number of patients yet. The whole country is still locked-down with an indefinite curfew in several areas and the government (including the National Operation Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 outbreak-NOCPCO) is yet to announce a date that these restrictions would be removed,” he said. “The Chairman’s decision to reopen the universities even before the government eases the restrictions on social movements seems a bit pre-mature and irrational. Neither the Chairman’s announcement nor the news reports, mention whether this decision was based on the recommendations of the medical community,” the FUTA General Secretary said.
“Since our members are very much concerned about the safety of the students and the staff, we would be grateful if you could explain the rationale behind your decision to reopen the universities on the given dates at a time when experts in the entire world have failed to predict a timeline to eradicate the disease, ” the General Secretary added.