The Secretariat of the All-Africa Students Union (AASU) has called on governments and all stakeholders to make educational institutions safe places for students during the period of the Coronavirus outbreak on the continent.
A statement signed by Mr Peter Kwasi Kodjie, Secretary of AASU and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra said they should put in place emergency response facilities to contain the spread of the virus and provide emergency testing equipment and medical care.
“We strongly advise students not to embark on any trips, ONLY travel when this is absolutely necessary. Should you show any symptoms suspected to be COVID-19 kindly call the nearest health facility before you show up in person,” it said.
It said simple actions like washing of hands with soap and running water, using hand sanitizers and avoiding handshakes and physical contact, could save many lives.
It said the All-Africa Students Union was in the process of setting up situation rooms across the Continent to provide urgent and timely updates to its constituents, put together a students’ volunteer corps programme to support national governments’ efforts in combating the COVID-19 and raise funds to complement African Countries’ efforts at fighting this pandemic.
It assured all members, that the All-Africa Students Union would keep working with its national students’ unions, governments, and global partner organizations, to contain and fight the COVID-19.
It said lessons learnt from the pandemic included; the fact that there was nothing like someone’s problem, and that what was always imagined as someone’s problem ended up becoming everyone’s problem as well.
“Standing together is imperative, if we are to defeat this scourge of a virus and whilst the times seem perilous, let us not allow fear and panic to grip our hearts in such a way that we may lose our humanity, let us continue to show compassion and love, albeit exercising the greatest of caution.,” it said.
The All-Africa Students Union (AASU) was formed in 1972 and organises all students in Africa from the basic level to Institutions of higher learning.
The Union has presence in all 54 African Countries, albeit, headquartered in Ghana under a headquarter agreement with the Government of Ghana.