A ride to safety

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SourceThe Hindu

Relevance: Teachers and their health are essential for the development of education in India.

Synopsis: Teachers has to be included in the vaccination campaigns as a front line worker.

Teachers during the pandemic:

This unprecedented health crisis has also severely impacted the gains made in the education sector over the last few years.

Throughout this pandemic, the exceptional effort undertaken by teachers must be highlighted. Such as using the resources available to them, Indian teachers mobilised as one and have remained on the front-lines of education to ensure continuity of learning.

Recognising teachers as front line workers:

As the country steps up the national vaccination campaign, there is an urgent need to better recognise teachers as front-line workers and prioritise them in the vaccination campaign.

While this has already been done by many State governments, the model should be replicated nationwide.

Need to recognise teachers as front line workers:
  • Including teachers will speed up the reopening of schools and facilitate ‘in person’ learning for students.
  • The continued commitment of teachers to their students and their critical role in contributing to the achievement of the 2030 targets under Sustainable Development Goal 4 (quality education).
  • Teachers have also helped in communicating measures that prevent the spread of the virus and providing assistance to ensure the mental well-being of all children. An accelerated vaccination process will enable them to stand fully ready when schools reopen.
About the UNESCO-UBER Collaboration:

Transport facilities and distances affect mass vaccination campaigns. Keeping this limitation in mind and to support the process of swift vaccination for teachers, the ride-sharing company Uber and UNESCO are coming together to offer a ‘Free rides for teachers’ vaccination’ campaign. This will provide teachers safe travel to the vaccination centres while offsetting the costs of travelling long distances.

The initiative offers 1,00,000 rides to 25,000 teachers to and from vaccination centres to get the two vaccine doses. The offer will be implemented in Chennai, Coimbatore and Tiruchirapalli in Tamil Nadu.

Similar such global collaborations:

  • Last year, UNESCO launched the Global Education Coalition (GEC), a platform for collaboration to protect the right to education during the pandemic and beyond.
    • The coalition brings together more than 175 members from the UN family, civil society, academia, and the private sector focusing on three key issues, namely connectivity, teachers, and gender to ensure continuous access to education for all.
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