Monday, December 4, 2023

Special 10-day drive for school teachers vaccination across Jharkhand

All government and private school teachers of higher classes to be vaccinated within August 10

Ranchi, August 7: Government teachers and even private teachers especially those teaching higher classes would be vaccinated on a priority basis.

While state education department had already started a special 10-day drive from August 4 (on World Health Day) to get all government teachers vaccinated, even private school teachers would now be covered with the state health department directing all the 24 district deputy commissioners to ensure that teachers of higher classes (between Class 9 and 12) are vaccinated by August 10.

After the Jharkhand government decision to allow opening of schools with offline classes for higher classes (between 9 and 12) acting on directive of chief minister Hemant Soren,  government school teachers, including para teachers and regular and contractual employees related to education, aged above 45 years, are being vaccinated in a special 10-day drive beginning on April 4.

Secretary of the primary education and literacy department, Rahul Sharma said, “ The drive will help facilitate the vaccination of teachers. It will increase their safety while performing their duty. In several districts, the teachers engaged in Covid-related tasks have already been vaccinated.” The school education and literacy department issued a letter to all regional and district level education officials asking them to gear up for the success of the drive.

“It is expected that the regional and district officials will take measures to ensure vaccination of maximum number of staff under the drive,” the letter stated.

The department had further directed to appoint nodal officers to conduct and supervise the drive. The district superintendents of education (DSEs) are the  nodal officer for primary school teachers, district education officers (DEOs) are nodal officer  for secondary schools and the regional officers for the mid-day meal employees. The district level officers would coordinate with the health department in this regard.

The state health department on August 6 (Friday) directed the deputy commissioners of all 24 districts of Jharkhand to ensure that the second dose of the vaccine is administered to teachers of class 9 to 12 on priority by August 10 and ensure that no teacher starts visiting schools unless he/she is fully vaccinated.

“It has come to light that some teachers of classes 9 to 12 have not received both doses of vaccine against Covid-19. In such circumstances, all the district education officers are hereby directed to ensure complete vaccination of such teachers on priority basis through special drives by August 10,” a letter from National Health Mission (NHM) Director Umashankar Singh.

The directive comes close on the heels of the state government’s decision of reopening in-person classes for students of class 9 to 12 in schools across Jharkhand.

“As per Covid protocol, only such teachers who have been completely vaccinated should be allowed to visit schools and take classes as a precautionary measure,” the letter further stated.

Most of the teachers in government and private schools have received at least one dose of the vaccine against Covid-19 in Jharkhand, said health officials, claiming that special vaccination drives were run in different schools to ensure that teachers get vaccinated. A few teachers, mostly those below the age of 45 years, have only been partially-vaccinated and were waiting for their second jab, said an official, adding that such teachers would be vaccinated on priority so that they can take in-person classes in schools.

Schools have remained closed for regular classes since April 2021 due lockdown owing to second wave of Covid pandemic.

As per government data, the state has so far administered the first dose of the vaccine to at least 80 lakh residents and the second dose to around 20 lakh residents.

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