K'taka seeks Centre's nod to vaccinate teachers

Karnataka govt seeks Centre's nod for priority Covid-19 vaccination for teachers

Staff of the education department, especially teachers, played a huge role in containing the pandemic, said state health minister

Represenative image. Credit: DH Photo

Karnataka Primary and Secondary Education Minister S Suresh Kumar on Friday appealed to the Centre to treat teachers as frontline workers and include them in the ongoing Covid-19 vaccination drive for the priority sector. In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, he said the staff of the education department, especially teachers, played a huge role in containing the pandemic through their on-field work, including maintenance of containment zones.

"It would be the best recognition of their services if teachers are declared as frontline workers, in terms of getting a vaccine for Covid-19," the minister said in the letter, enclosing a copy of the state Chief Secretary's proposal in this regard. Suresh Kumar said the government had utilised the services of the teachers for door-to-door collection of data, propagating the importance of social distancing, assisting the health staff like never before and for many other allied activities.

"Approving the proposal submitted by the Chief Secretary of Karnataka would go a long way in instilling the much-needed faith of this community in our system," he said in the letter, a copy of which was released to media here. The vaccination drive started in the state on January 16 and at present covers the medical and paramedical staff in the priority sector. As of Thursday, a total of 2,84,385 people have been vaccinated in the state in the ongoing phase.

The government has said after covering the frontline workers, people with co-morbidities and above 50 years would be given the vaccine. The state government's proposal comes at a time when schools and colleges have started functioning, especially for the classes 10, PUC second year and final year degree students in the state since early this month