Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir government deciding to reopen the schools and colleges from next month hasbrought smiles back on the faces of students, but the question being asked is will the students return to educational institutions without getting a COVID-19 vaccine jab.
A parent while talking to Precious Kashmir said, “Schools getting reopened is a good news but our concern is when will our children get vaccinated. At present the immunization drive is only confined to health workers. It appears that at this pace it will take months for the drive to get over. How can we send our children to schools without them being vaccinated?”
He said, “If the government wants to reopen the educational institutions then it should either get the students vaccinated in schools or make these jabs available in the open market.”
An official said that the administration is working out a plan to ensure that students return to schools and colleges without any fear or anxiety. “The first phase is on and very soon the drive will be intensified. More centers will be added. It’s just a matter of time before everyone gets a protective shield,” the official added.
It’s in place to mention here that the Government of India has asked Jammu and Kashmir administration to expedite the ongoing vaccination process in Union Territory where nearly 18000 health workers been vaccinated in 12 days. There are a total of 1,12,893 health care workers in J&K are scheduled to be inoculated in the first phase of the vaccination drive.
An analyst said, “At present pace the first phase of vaccination will take a longtime to get completed. If the pace is not expedited, we don’t see schools and colleges reopening soon.”
He said, “In other states and union territories pace has picked up. One hopes that the Health Department takes a cue about how the drive is being managed in other places.”
Another parent said, “We have kept our children at homes for nearly two years now. The educational institutions were closed on August 5, 2019 (when J&K’s special status was abrogated) since then they continue to remain shut. We don’t want to take any chances with our children. We won’t put them at risk by sending them to schools without getting vaccinated.”
“Many parents like me have started getting notifications from the schools that institutions are set to reopen next month but there is no mention of whether the schools will provide the vaccinations or not. This question has to be answered before the institutions reopen,” he added.