"We have taken a new decision today. Prior to the upcoming Teacher's day on September 5, we will vaccinate all the teachers. For that purpose, we have already bought 12 lakhs vaccine doses from the Government of India", said Assam Chief Minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma while addressing the press recently. Sarma even added that the Government is planning to open up schools and colleges from the first week of September.
It was on 22 August, when the Education Minister Ranoj Pegu announced the reopening of classes X, XII and the final year degree courses from the 1st September after taking track of the Covid situation in the state. It was a reason of concern that the Covid cases in Assam since the last week have been topping 600-700 every day.
Fit Northeast had a conversation with a high-school teacher, Mrs Niharika Gogoi regarding the issue of vaccinating all the teachers prior to the opening of the schools. "It was the time during the months of March-April when preparation for elections was going on. We, the teachers were allotted election duties at various locations and it has to be mentioned that we were given vaccination prior to going for the election duties", said Mrs Gogoi.
Mrs Gogoi said that other than those vaccinated teachers, who were not allotted the election duties also took their vaccines at various vaccination centres. She highlighted that it was important to recognize that almost all the teachers are very conscious and have taken almost both the jabs.
It was on August 22, when Education Minister Ranoj Pegu announced the reopening of classes X, XII and the final year degree courses from the 1st September after taking track of the Covid situation in the state.Fit Northeast also had a conversation with a Principal of a Government Higher-Secondary School in Guwahati regarding the preparation of opening schools and colleges. The Principal mentioned that a new SOP regarding the schools was about to be published in the near future and even they were looking forward to the new guidelines.
In order to make a review about the re-start of offline classes, Fit Northeast approached Munu Das, who is a student from the BPL section of the society. Munu will be appearing for her board exams in the year 2022. Munu said, "I belong to a poor family and my mother is the sole bread earner of the family. It becomes difficult for us to afford a smart phone to do online classes. One day, I managed to do it through one of my cousin's father's phones but did not understand anything. The classes in the classrooms are better than those we do in the phones. In school, we get to understand the more clear understanding of everything. It is also fun to learn with our friends".
As informed by the government officials, the deputy commissioners will be empowered to take calls on the closure of offline classes in the future. It has also been added that all the students who are more than 18 years of age must have to be vaccinated prior to the start of the offline classes.
Fit Northeast had a conversation with Mr Prasanna Bora, who is the Deputy Director of Secondary Education in Assam. It was informed that till today they have not received any SOP from the Assam Government relating to the re-opening of schools.