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Pune halts Covid-19 vaccination for teachers

April 5, 2021
– Sukanya Nandy

India has been witnessing a rapid surge in the daily Covid-19 tally over the past few days. According to the Union ministry of health and family welfare, today (April 5, 2021), the country has added 103,796 coronavirus positive cases in the last 24 hours — the highest single-day spike since the onset of the pandemic in March last year. 

With Covid cases surging once again across the country, in several states, the government has prioritised Covid-19 vaccination for teachers as ‘frontline workers – FLW’, irrespective of the age criteria. 

Speaking with EducationWorld, Pathik Shah, founder-president of the  Anvil Foundation (Anvil Nursery & Play School) and Ahmedabad Head Territory of ECA, says, “It’s a great initiative that the government is looking out for the teachers and they are getting vaccinated. I believe teachers are also frontline workers. Over the past year, teachers have done a commendable job. I appreciate the government for giving teachers the chance to vaccinate.” Anvil Foundation teachers have recently received the Covid-19 vaccination. 

“The moment the government gave us permission for teachers to be vaccinated as frontline workers we took the initiative and got all our teachers and staff vaccinated. Although offline classes have been closed again due to Covid-19, we have given a notification to the parents as well to get themselves vaccinated before the offline classes begin again, the date of which has no been announced by the government yet. In case, they haven’t got vaccinated, then we will give them an extended period to get vaccinated,” says Shobhan Soi, CEO of the Chandigarh-based CLAY Prep School and Day Care.

Meanwhile, Jehangir Hospital Pune has reportedly called off the decision to vaccinate teachers on Saturday evening (March 3) citing new government rules.

Poornima Shetye, Pune-based freelance preschool consultant, teacher educationist and parent guide, who is extremely disappointed with the decision says, “Educators should be considered as frontline workers because at some point of time offline classes will start again. Online classes are not working well as everyone hoped it would, especially for the smaller students. They cannot sit in front of the screen for a long time and learn. We were hoping that if teachers’ vaccination is done, offline classes in schools might start early.”

Dr. Swati Popat Vats, president of the Podar Jumbo Kids and founder-president of the Early Childhood Association (ECA) says, “It’s very sad that Pune took back the decision. Ludhiana and Ahmedabad have got their teachers vaccinated. In fact, the most number of cases in Maharashtra are in Pune. Many daycares are also open in the city. If the government really wants to control the spread of the virus, it is important that all frontline workers should be vaccinated irrespective of their age. I also think parents will be motivated to take the vaccine if they see their child’s teacher have taken it.”

Also read: Prioiritise vaccination delivery to teachers, say education experts

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