Education Minister Prof. G.L.Peiris yesterday said that the vaccination of teachers, principals and non-academic staff of Government schools will begin on July 12 on the directive of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
“It was agreed at a meeting with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to vaccinate the academic staff of all Government schools throughout the country within a week,” Minister Peiris said.
The Minister was speaking at a press conference held at the Education Ministry in Battaramulla yesterday. State Minister Susil Premajayantha was also present. He said that the Ministry decided to vaccinate teachers, principals and non academic staff of 10,155 schools from July 12 following a virtual meeting with Governors, senior officials of Provincial Councils and health authorities yesterday morning.
Around 240,000 teachers will be eligible for vaccination.
The Minister said that the vaccination drive of Government school staff is the first of the strategies to be adopted by the government to re-open schools as the pandemic wanes.
The vaccination of school staff will instill a sense of confidence among the parents to send their children to the schools without fear, he noted. As part of this strategy, schools with less than 100 students are scheduled to open within this month in compliance with instructions given by the health officials.
Over 2,900 schools with less than 100 students are to be opened within this month based on the instructions of the health authorities and the other schools are expected to begin academic activities based on an extensive plan.
The Education Ministry on Monday established Regional Learning Centres (RLCs) at multiple locations in the country to provide Internet facilities for the schoolchildren who do not have access to mobile data/broadband and computers to study online.
The education authorities are also exploring the possibility of vaccinating schoolchildren aged above 12, as already being done in several other countries including Singapore.