Teachers and non-teaching staff involved in Class 10 Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and Class 12 Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) board examination have demanded the state school education department to provide free Covid-19 vaccination starting this week. Teachers said they need to have a gap of 28 to 42 days between the two doses so the state should start the vaccination by administering the first dose in this week as HSC board theory exams are scheduled to begin offline from April 23 while, SSC will begin from April 29, 2021.
The Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) released guidelines on Sunday regarding conduct of SSC and HSC board exams. The board said, "All teaching and non-teaching staff involved in board examination has to be present one hour or 90 minutes before the exam so that their thermal screening can be completed in advance at exam centres."
HSC board theory examinations are scheduled to begin in 31 days from now while, SSC in 37 days, said Tanvi Juneja, a Class 12 teacher. Juneja said, "There has to be gap of 28 to 42 days between two doses of Covid-19 vaccine. Teachers and exam staff will not have sufficient time gap between two doses if we are not given the first dose in this week."
While, Rajesh Pandya, a senior teacher and vice-president of Teachers Democratic Front (TDF), said, "The board has not provided any guidelines for vaccination to be provided for all teachers and exam staff before SSC and HSC board exams. Instead of thermal screening, all staff should be vaccinated to prevent risks and create a safe examination environment."
On March 20, Varsha Gaikwad, state school education minister, said, "The department of education is thinking of giving Covid-19 vaccine to the teachers and teaching staff appointed for Classes 10 and 12 board examinations." But no direction in this matter has been given yet by the state.