During the Covid Pandemic, the Karnataka Government has destroyed the learning and teaching processes in Schools, Colleges and Universities with its ill planned lockdown last year. Online education which has replaced classroom teaching has resulted in huge drop outs and the students are being excluded from learning and getting quality education due to lack of internet facilities and smartphones. Deplorable surge in dropout rates would happen if this discriminatory mode of online education continues thereby further marginalising the deprived sections from education.
At this juncture, when the Karnataka government is adamant on keeping campus spaces closed off, the second wave of Covid is being cited as the reason given by various university/college administrations and government to close down colleges and universities which were slowly reopening in phased manner.
The Yediyurappa government should immediately vaccinate students, teachers and staff from colleges and universities in order to save another academic year from destruction. Rather than making efforts to further the free vaccination drive among students, teachers and staff, the attitude of the Karnataka Government shows the complete lack of commitment to ensure inclusive and non discriminatory education practices.
In fact the Indian medical Association (IMA) has written to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to immediately start vaccination for everyone above 18 Years of age. A similar proposal was made by various state Governments like Punjab, Delhi and others, considering how the second wave has been impacting youngsters at a much higher rate than the first wave last year. It is ironic that despite various vaccines available world over, the Indian Government has only authorized AstraZeneca, Covishield and Bharath Biotech’s Covaxin. Various scientific studies are emerging on how vaccines manufactured by Pfizer, Johnson and Johnson, and others are more effective dealing with mutations that are arising lately.
It is unfortunate that the Modi government rather than allowing vaccination for all, has denied the requests and said that only the needy will be given.
It is important to understand the real reasons and motives behind the intentions of the Karnataka Government, that through the growth of online education has ensured profits to corporates and losses to students in the learning process. The Modi government is hell-bent on National Education Policy 2020 through deceit and coercion which promotes online education. Student community remains resolute on the demand of reopening all campuses. As the Modi government has pompously publicized the developed vaccine and announced vaccination to senior citizens, the All India Students’ Association demands the following:
- Students, teachers and staff of colleges and universities of the country must be given free vaccination from COVID.
- All campuses must be reopened immediately with all adequate safety measures.