Bangladesh set to inoculate teachers on priority basis ahead of school reopening

  • Kazi Nafia Rahman, bdnews24.com
    Published: 2021-02-27 13:54:36 BdST

bdnews24
A health worker prepares a COVID-19 vaccine shot at the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) in Dhaka on the first day of the nationwide inoculation drive, Feb 7, 2021. Photo: Asif Mahmud Ove

The government has taken the initiative to inoculate teachers and officials of educational institutions on a priority basis as it targets reopening classrooms across the country after a year of closure.

Vaccine registration for educational institutions began on the government's Surokkha website on Feb 25.

The health directorate received a list of nearly 750,000 teachers, officials and employees of public and private educational institutions across the country.

Anyone on the list and below the age of 40 can visit the Surokkha website, register and get vaccinated.

However, if the required information is not found in the database, none of the educational institutions will receive priority regarding vaccination.

The prime minister has directed the health ministry to vaccinate all teachers, Zakir Hossain, state minister for Primary and Mass Education, said on Feb 9.

On Feb 22, Education Minister Dipu Moni said universities will be reopened on May 27. She also said that teachers, officials and employees would be vaccinated before the reopening.

According to the Ministry of Education, there are 4,06,469 teachers and 1,62,861 employees in secondary and higher secondary institutions across the country.

As many as 15,524 teachers are conducting classes at the universities. There are 6,85,400 teachers at the primary level, according to the primary and mass education ministry.

Asked about the number of vaccines allocated for educational institutions, Mizanur Rahman, director of MIS at the health directorate, said: "It is an ongoing process. We will continue to inoculate with the arrival of new shipments.”

"So far, we have received instructions about pilots, cabin crews, teachers and various port officials and staff."Nasima Sultana, additional director general of health services, said teachers can get vaccinated after completing the registration process.

Everyone over the age of 40 will get vaccine doses, she said.

“Very few teachers in our colleges and universities are under the age of 40. Only some teachers in primary and secondary schools are under 40.”

INOCULATION OF STUDENTS

Dipu Moni had also talked about the inoculation of residential students before the reopening of universities.

However, the process of vaccinating students above the age of 18 at university and higher secondary levels has not started yet.

Mizanur Rahman said, “We have not yet received any instructions regarding the students. We will vaccinate them once we receive the directive.”

"The government has not said anything about the inoculation of students above the age of 18. We are also not dealing with the students right now,” said Director General Golam Faruk of the Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education.