Govt drive to jab students, teachers
As pressure mounts, primarily from medical students who cannot have online classes and need offline sessions, the government is preparing the ground for opening up campuses. Chief minister BS Yediyurappa is expected to make an announcement in this regard ahead of the final phase of unlocking slated to kick in on July 19 in Karnataka.
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“The decision will factor in the speedy vaccination drive among the student population and mounting pressure from medical colleges, and from those who have come back to the state from other parts of the country and abroad to study here. These students are already losing a huge portion of their academic year and also money on accommodations,” said a CMO official. Some colleges, sources said, have achieved 100% vaccination of students and staff.
The government is also considering issuing an order to make vaccination mandatory for students attending offline classes, the official said.
Deputy chief minister CN Ashwath Narayana said no date has been decided for re-opening of degree classes. “Currently, the focus is on vaccination of students aged above 18. The dates or opening degree classes will be decided later after consulting with all stakeholders,” he said.
Narayana, who holds higher education portfolio, said over 65% of students and staff of government and aided degree colleges have been vaccinated in the state until July 7. Of 4,90,799 students in all, 3,13,898 students have been vaccinated. Among staff, 85% — 24,875 out of 29,241 — have been jabbed. “The vaccination drive will be speeded up even further now,” he added.
Meanwhile, Bangalore University has vaccinated 76.4% of students and staff on its campus. While Bangalore University’s University Visvesvaraya College of Engineering has covered 79% of students and staff, the University Law College has vaccinated 78.3% and University College of Physical Education has vaccinated 71.6%. Bangalore University V-C prof KR Venugopal told TOI that 66% of hostel students have also been vaccinated. “We hope to vaccinate around 20% of students when the university reopens,” he said.