Published: 07th December 2021
Students can attend schools even if parents not double vaccinated, says Karnataka’s Primary Edu Minister
Minister for Primary and Secondary Education BC Nagesh informed TNIE that they cannot force parents unless the government decides that vaccination is compulsory
The Karnataka state government's mandate for parents of school and college-going students under the age of 18 to be mandatorily vaccinated has put the education department in a fix.
Minister for Primary and Secondary Education BC Nagesh informed TNIE that they cannot force parents unless the government decides that vaccination is compulsory. He added that no child from Classes I to X has been tested positive except for the Navodaya school case. "Double vaccination is an extra measure to stop COVID from spreading. Throughout the country, we are asking people to take the second dose of vaccination. People were not taking the second dose because the situation wasn't alarming and now, we're forcing them to take it," said the minister.
The department has been told to take measures to convince parents to take both doses of vaccination. Commissioner for Public Instruction Vishal R said, "At present, anganwadi teachers, school teachers and Asha workers are given the task of convincing parents. Anything compulsory has to be done via an act or a rule. The acts are Epidemic Diseases Act, Disaster Management Act or Right to Education Act. Do any of these give us overriding power to punish the parent or the child? We need to have that clarity in mind."
Further, the minister added, "There maybe a couple of parents who are ignorant or not getting vaccinated for various health reasons. If they are amenable to vaccination, through moral insinuation we have to convince them. I am looking at it pragmatically. Asha workers, Anganwadi workers and teachers need to inform the parents."
Meanwhile, schools are awaiting orders from the department to implement the government's guidelines. "We have not received orders from the department to prevent children from coming to school although there are government guidelines," said HK Manjunath, President, Karnataka State High School Assistant Masters' Association. He also stated that if the schools implement it without a department order, parents will oppose it.
"We have received an order that cultural activities are prohibited. There has been no change in attendance today in private unaided schools either, following the circular. We have only given a notice to parents as an advisory," said Shashi Kumar, General Secretary, Associated Management of Primary and Secondary Schools in Karnataka (KAMS).