Updated: May 29, 2021 7:51:15 am
BANKING ON support from the Centre, the Gujarat government is planning to vaccinate all those aged above 18 who will appear in the Class 12 state board exams due to begin July 1. The drive is expected to cover nearly 6 lakh students from around 10 lakh who will appear for the Class 12 board and Class 10 repeat exams, officials said.
Confirming the move, Gujarat Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama told The Indian Express: “We have analysed the district-wise data of students who are 18 years and above. But this will also depend on the availability of vaccine stocks, for which the state government will request the Central Government to extend support.”
Chudasama said that the details, including whether both doses will be given and location of vaccination centres, “can be worked out based on the stock availability and after consultation with the Health Department”.
Sources in the Education Department said that among the potential beneficiaries, nearly 1 lakh are from the two cities of Surat (55,000) and Ahmedabad (40,000), followed by the districts of Rajkot (32,000) and Vadodara (25,000).
According to officials, over 1.4 lakh students will appear for the Class 12 exams in the science stream and 5.43 lakh in the general stream. There will also be over 1 lakh Class 10 repeat students for whom exams start from July 1.
So far, records show that 11,36,598 people in the age group of 18-44 years have been vaccinated in Gujarat.
On Friday, the Gujarat Self Financed School Management Federation wrote to Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel and Education Minister Chudasama urging the government to vaccinate Class 12 students as a “special case”.
“We had also requested the state government during a recent meeting on the feasibility of holding Class 12 board exams that eligible students should get vaccinated on a priority basis,” Bharat Gajipara, who heads the federation, said.
“If as per the state government’s records, it is vaccinating over 1.2 lakh people every day for a week, it can easily vaccinate 6 lakh students before they appear for the exams,” Gajipara said.
The Centre, meanwhile, is yet to take a call on conducting the CBSE Class 12 board exams with several states supporting the Board’s proposal to go ahead with the examination. Gujarat has not taken a clear official position on this issue with Chudasama saying that “the central board has to decide”.
For the state board exams, the government has announced several safety measures, such as a limit of 20 students in one classroom and strict implementation of Covid-appropriate behaviour.
Gujarat has a total Covid casecount of 8,03,387 and 9,761 deaths, with an active caseload currently of 43,611. It is among the states hard-hit by the second wave, with the number of daily cases peaking at 14,605 on April 30 and the daily death count at 180 on April 29. On Friday, the state recorded 2,521 new cases and 27 deaths.
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