Students at the University of Upper Nile are calling for the resumption of lectures as the month-long Covid-19 lockdown ended April 3.
The call was made to the university administration during a peaceful demonstration held in the environs of the campus on Monday.
Speaking to Radio Tamazuj, several students decried the continued closure of the institution since December 2019, calling it a denial of their right to education.
“If it is because of lockdown. Why us? The other government institutions are still working. As the students, our appeal is that we want the university to be reopened because we will be able to observe Covid-19 measures,” Peter Ring, a furious fourth-year medical student said.
Another student, Barac Atem, also demanded the reopening of the university, saying they will not be able to miss out on another academic year.
“We spent a long time without studies and we have since engaged the university administration but there was no response. So, on April 12, we held a peaceful demonstration demanding that Upper Nile University be reopened but we got no good response,” Atem said. “The administration said the delays are not from them but the (Covid-19) taskforce. And as the lockdown ended on April 3 there was no communication.”
Atem, who is also the student guild president, called on the national Covid-19 task force and the higher education ministry to give the university a green light to operate, emphasizing that they will be committed to abiding by the Covid-19 protocols.
For his part, Prof. Satiro Obore Otti, the Dean for the Students’ Affairs, said they are concerned as the administration and that they are engaging the relevant government agencies so that the university is reopened.
“We are sharing with them the suffering. We are not happy about it. And of course, as the administration, we cannot do anything by ourselves because the lockdown was made by the presidency. So we are just waiting for them,” Prof. Obore said.
Upper Nile University is one of the institutions of higher learning in the country.
The university reopened for the first time in December 2020 after a year of the shutdown but it was closed again just barely a month later as Covid-19 cases surged.
Source: Radio Tamazuj