Make teachers, students a priority for Covid-19 vaccine: Maharashtra teachers

Teachers across the state have requested the Maharashtra government to prioritise them for the vaccine drive against Covid-19 that is likely to start soon in the country.

Over the last few days, several representations have been made by teachers and educational bodies, requesting the government to vaccinate teachers and students. “In several parts of the state, schools have reopened in the last few months. Since many students do not have access to the internet and mobile phones, they would want to attend physical school. We thus request the government to add teachers and students to the list of beneficiaries for the vaccine,” said Anil Bornare of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) teachers’ cell.

Earlier this month, the Early Childhood Association, a body of preschools in the country, had also urged the government to vaccinate school teachers and preschool educators.

An official from the state education department said, “The decision about vaccination will be made by the Central and state government, and we cannot comment on it.”

On December 14, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) urged governments worldwide to prioritise teachers in the vaccination process. “UNICEF is calling for teachers to be prioritised to receive the Covid-19 vaccine, once frontline health personnel and high-risk populations are vaccinated. This will help protect teachers from the virus, allow them to teach in person, and ultimately keep schools open,” read its official release.

On November 23, nearly 15,000 schools across various parts of Maharashtra reopened for students. Schools in cities like Mumbai and Pune, however, remain closed for students at least until December 31, as per the decision of the local civic bodies.

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