Free COVID vaccine, RT-PCR tests sought for school, college teachers

Degree colleges are left in a muddle as the state higher and technical education minister Uday Samant on Friday did not announce a fixed timeline and guidelines for reopening of offline lectures. In addition, degree colleges and schools have demanded free Covid-19 vaccination and RT-PCR tests for all professors and teachers.

On Friday, in a press conference, Samant said, "Colleges will start soon in Maharashtra." Authorities of degree college under University of Mumbai (MU) said they do not have any clarity regarding reopening of offline lectures despite repeated requests for information.

Also, degree colleges said Covid-19 vaccination should be provided to professors for free. Anandini Sengupta, a senior professor, said, "If the state plans to reopen offline lectures they should provide Covid-19 vaccination to all professors for free or at least grant some concession. RT-PCR tests of all professors and staff should also be done if the state is deciding to resume offline lectures."

Authorities of schools said teachers are essential services and should be treated as priority after health care workers if the state and local authorities plan to reopen educational institutions in Mumbai. The principal of a Khar school, said, "After the first phase of the vaccination drive is completed for all medical staff, health care and frontline workers, teachers and school staff should be vaccinated."

Shashikant Modak, a school tecaher said, "Teachers are part of essential services. The state government should provide financial aid for the vaccination to those teachers and school staff who cannot afford to pay for it."

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