University of Lagos (UNILAG) students have expressed displeasure with the management of the institution over the enforcement of indemnity form they should fill as precondition for their admission into the university campus and hostels.
According to the students, the introduction of the indemnity form was a ploy by the university management, led by the Vice- Chancellor, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, to transfer its responsibility of ensuring the safety of students on campus.
The university had, last week, mandated the returning 300 and 400-Level students for first semester to fill an indemnity form as precondition for the resumption and acceptance into the halls of residence and lecture rooms, a development the students have condemned in its entirety.
The indemnity form reads in part: “I acknowledge the contagious nature of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and note the measures announced by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on practicing good social distancing, compulsory wearing of nose masks amongst other measures.
“I further acknowledge that the University of Lagos has put in place policies to reduce the spread of COVID- 19. I undertake that I will comply with all policies and measures to reduce the spread while attending my lecturers and carrying out all other activities pertaining to my studies. I will also ensure compliance with all the protocols and related regulations throughout my stay in the hall of residence and at the University of Lagos.”
But, the university authorities have said asking the students to fill and sign the indemnity forms as a pre-condition for their acceptance to the campus was not to cause anxiety, panic or create fear in them.
Rather, the management noted that as a pre-condition for students to be admitted into the campus and hostels, the idea of the indemnity was for stakeholders to know that the university was not only committed to COVID-19 safety protocols, but also doing all things possible to ensure the safety of students.
A university source, who spoke with New Telegraph, explained further that the university initially had the option of asking the students to bring their COVID-19 status report, but realized that such might be difficult for most of them because many of them would not be able to afford the cost of COVID-19 test.
The source, however, added that since Lagos is the hub of the national activities, the university needed to be extremely careful with the safety of the students, and hence it had put in place several measures to ensure safety of the campus, and not to abdicate its obligation as alleged by the students. Other contents of the form stated:
“The indemnity form is just to ensure that the students are concerned about the COVID-19 safety protocols,” the source further noted, saying the university does not want to take any chance.”
In view of COVID-19 protocols and convenience of the concerned students, the university, it was learnt, said plans were already ongoing to arrange vaccines for the vaccination of the students on campus, while health personnel are on ground in the university hospital to attend to health needs of the students.
Source: New Telegraph Newspaper