The federal government has made arrangements to vaccinate teachers and other educational staff on a priority basis in order to prevent them from contracting Covid-19 so as to keep educational institutions open, a spokesperson said on Friday.
The teachers' vaccination would help in ensuring the elimination of disruption in the education sector and reduce learning losses, the official maintained.
He added that the government, through social media, has urged teachers to get vaccinated if they have not already gotten the jabs. The teachers and students were also directed to keep at least six feet distance between themselves in class rooms and play grounds, wash their hands regularly for 30 seconds and sanitise them, he stated.
The teachers were further asked to ensure that the number of students does not increase the prescribed limit in classrooms and assembly halls. The classrooms should have proper ventilation system, the official added.
Moreover, parents in the garrison city have demanded summer vacations for their children, especially at the primary level, facing serious health risk due to prolonged exposure to scorching heat as well as the risk of contracting Covid-19.
The health experts have said that they had urged the masses to ensure preventive measures against extreme heat wave incidents due to dry spell during monsoon and advised the parents to provide protective gears like caps, head coverings, umbrellas and sunglasses to prevent temperature borne diseases such as heat strokes, diarrhea, nausea and eye disease from developing among their children.
Recently, videos on social media made rounds highlighting school children at primary level losing consciousness in different schools of the federal capital while many were unable to attend schools due to the unbearable heat.
However, the situation in Rawalpindi went unreported, said Shagufta a mother based in Rawalpindi worried about her twin daughters studying in grade two. Many of the small kids feel the heat and vomit in their classrooms while parents are asked to rush to school and take their kids to a medical facility for first-aid, she added.
Farhat Abbas, a government employee, mentioned that the schools in a number of areas are also facing frequent power outages and a shortage of clean drinking water where in many cases the fans also do not work in the classrooms, forcing children to sit in extremely hot weather.
The parents unanimously underlined that the students at the primary level were prone to serious health hazards to be faced due to temperature whereas there education could be managed through online classes or extended schedule. Therefore, summer vacations should be announced to protect children during rising temperature as this time weather predictions indicate massive heat waves ahead, they maintained.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 26th, 2021.
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