New Delhi: Educational institutions and state governments plan to vaccinate as many students in the eligible age group as possible before colleges reopen for physical classes, ThePrint has learned.
Since the eligible age for vaccination in India is currently 18 and over, this will benefit both undergraduates and postgraduates as most of them are between 18 and 23 years old.
Sources told ThePrint that the Education Department has unofficially communicated to institutes to prepare for the gradual reopening of colleges, which includes ensuring that the maximum number of students and staff are vaccinated.
ThePrint sent an email to the Department of Education for comment. This report will be updated when a response is received.
Some of India’s institutes of technology (IIT) and universities like Delhi University have already launched a vaccination campaign for their students.
Among the states, Karnataka plans to inoculate its students by July, and Hyderabad the colleges have started the vaccination campaign. Kerala provides for the gradual reopening of colleges after the vaccination of students and staff.
Vaccine details on admission forms
Sources also said that the details of the vaccination will also be looked up by colleges on student admission forms, that is, whether they received the first dose, both doses, or neither. All students, including second and final year students, will need to inform their institution of immunization status before joining physical classes.
The institutes will help students get vaccinated who are eligible for vaccination but still have not received even a single injection. In the case of freshmen, if they become eligible after joining the institute, they can seek help from their college to get the vaccine, sources said.
“It is not possible to continue studying online for more than a year. This is particularly unfair for students of technical courses who need to use laboratory facilities. This is why we are working on the return of students to campus. If conditions are right and more people are vaccinated, students should be able to return to campus later this year, ”a source from the Department of Education said.
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The vaccination campaign begins in the colleges
Calling students back to campus after immunizing them is also the model followed globally. Some of the best universities in the United States such as the Columbia university and New York University have made vaccination mandatory before students join classes on campus.
In India, IITs are working in the same direction. IIT-Bombay held a three-day vaccination campaign on June 21 at its campus. IIT-Delhi is also planning to vaccinate its students for a safer return to campus. A senior institute official told ThePrint: “We want to make sure the students are back on campus safely, we (will) help with the vaccinations of the students and bring them back to campus if the situation remains. favorable.”
IIT-Madras is also trying to ensure that its staff and students are vaccinated before the campus reopens. “At IIT-Madras, a large portion of the students, faculty, staff and dependents residing on campus have at least taken their first dose. As for the home students, we asked them to get vaccinated as soon as possible so that they can return to campus as soon as possible. Vaccination can be an important protection, ”an official spokesperson for the institute told ThePrint.
The University of Delhi also started vaccination campaign for eligible students from June 21, day 1 of the central government free vaccination program for all adults.
In its revised academic calendar released for the year 2021-2022 on June 18, the technical education regulator All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) also hinted that classes could start in offline mode if the situation is. favorable.
“Classes could start online / offline (classroom) or blended (online and offline) following prescribed pandemic protocols / guidelines,” says the notice for the revised academic calendar.
He added that “the academic calendar may change subject to existing conditions due to the pandemic and directives issued from time to time by the Ministry of Health / Ministry of Interior / Ministry of Education”.
Read also : UGC draws criticism as ‘Thank you PM Modi’ posters for free vaccines pop up in universities
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