‘Submit school staff vaccination data’

Declining to issue any specific direction on reopening of schools due to the possible third wave of COVID-19 being anticipated by experts, the High Court of Karnataka on Monday directed the State government to submit data of vaccination of both the teaching and non-teaching of staff working in government and aided schools.

It observed that the process of vaccinating all stakeholders involved in day-to-day running of schools would help in boosting the confidence level of parents as well as staff of the schools as and when the authorities take a call on the reopening.

A Division Bench comprising Justice B.V. Nagarathna and Justice P. Krishna Bhat issued the direction while hearing a PIL petition filed by Radha M. and others seeking direction to supply cooked midday meals to students.

The government will have to submit by August 12 the data about thr number of teaching and non-teaching staff vaccinated so far.

Referring to media reports on a possible third wave of COVID-19 being anticipated by the experts, the Bench orally said it would be an unpopular decision to reopen schools when the daily COVID-19 cases are rising again and there are indications of a weekend lockdown. When the counsel for petitioner pointed out that the government has not yet decided on reopening of schools based on the report of special committee as was informed during the earlier hearing, the Bench sought to know which parent would sent their children to schools now.

Stating that the court cannot issue direction to the government to reopen schools, the Bench said that it is for the government to decide based on the advice of the experts while also pointing out that even the recommendations given by experts a week ago may not be applicable now in the fast-changing COVID-19 scenario.

The Bench also observed orally that the government needed more time to decide on reopening of schools due to the present fluid situation while also pointing out the absence of a Council of Ministers and a Minister for Education as the new Chief Minister assumed office only a few days ago.

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Printable version | Sep 25, 2021 6:29:24 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/submit-school-staff-vaccination-data/article35692311.ece

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