Pvt schools fund vaccine shots for staffers

Published on Mar 31, 2021 03:32 AM IST

The centre has announced that everyone above the age of 45 will be eligible for a vaccine from April 1.

The Union government had last week announced that everyone above the age of 45 will be eligible for a coronavirus vaccine from April 1.(HT Photo)
The Union government had last week announced that everyone above the age of 45 will be eligible for a coronavirus vaccine from April 1.(HT Photo)
By, New Delhi

Several private schools in the national capital have started chalking out plans to arrange Covid-19 vaccinations for teachers, ahead of the new academic session and the upcoming Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) exams.

The Union government had last week announced that everyone above the age of 45 will be eligible for a coronavirus vaccine from April 1.

Following this, several private schools have started booking vaccination slots for their staff, while some have also urged the district administration to allow all their staff members, irrespective of their age, to get the vaccine shots, and consider them as “frontline workers”, who are among the target groups eligible to receive the jabs.

For instance, Mount Abu Public School in Rohini has booked an April 1 appointment in a private hospital for all their staffers aged 45 and above. The school has also asked the north-west district administration to consider allowing jabs for all of the staffers of the school. School principal Jyoti Arora said, “The school has decided to sponsor the vaccination for all our staff members who are willing and are eligible as per government guidelines... We hope that all our staff members can get at least the first shot before we start the academic session on April 5.”

The new academic session is scheduled to begin from the first week of April. While online classes will continue for students up to Class 8, those in classes 9 to 12 are likely to attend schools in-person. The CBSE Class 10 and 12 board exams will be held from May 4 to June 10, and results will be declared by July 15.

Also read | Govt to ramp up Covid-19 beds as Capital adds 992 fresh infections

The administration of Mount Carmel Schools also said they want their staff members, even those aged below 45, to get vaccinated before classes kick off. “We want to start the new academic session with a carefree mind and for that we need all our staff to be vaccinated,” said Michael V Williams, dean of Mount Carmel Schools.

Meenakshi Khushwaha, principal of Birla Vidya Niketan in Pushp Vihar, said that she has also written to the district administration to allow all their staff members to get vaccinated. “We are planning to start a new academic session online for all classes till our all teachers get vaccinated and the situation normalises,” she said.

Several schools have already begun vaccinating their eligible teachers in groups on a voluntary basis. For example, in Springdales School a large chunk of eligible teachers was vaccinated last week. Principal Ameeta Wattal said, “Our teachers are front-line workers too. They meet students on a daily basis. They will soon start taking classes as the new academic session, they will also work as invigilators in the upcoming CBSE board exams, and then evaluate the board exam answer scripts. They need the vaccine as much as the hospital staffers do.”

Others, including Shri Ram Schools, and Bluebells School International have also started the vaccination process for their eligible teaching and non-teaching staff in collaboration with private hospitals designated as vaccination centres.

Apeejay Schools are also planning similar arrangements for their employees

“The Apeejay group has already completed vaccinating all its staff, including teachers, aged above 60, and now a similar drive is expected to begin soon for those who fall in 45-year-old and above age group,” said Smita Amit, principal, Apeejay School, Saket.

In government schools, a majority of the teachers who were on Covid-19 duty have been vaccinated under the “frontline category”.

Officials at several district administrations said central and state government guidelines will determine if teachers aged below 45 can be vaccinated.

“There have been requests to allow shots for these teachers and to consider them frontline workers. However, this will depend on approvals from the state health and welfare department,” an official at the north-west district administration said.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Fareeha Iftikhar is a principal correspondent with the national political bureau of the Hindustan Times. She tracks the education ministry, and covers the beat at the national level for the newspaper. She also writes on issues related to gender, human rights and different policy matters.

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