With less than a day left for the reopening of schools in Kozhikode district, only 32% of children in the 12-14 age group have been so far covered in the COVID-19 vaccination drive. There is yet to be any clarity on the concession tickets to be given in buses too.
The Health Department had launched a three-day vaccination drive last Thursday to inoculate children and ensure their immunity from the infection ahead of school reopening. Sources in the department said, however, that only 20% of the target had been achieved during the period. Earlier, 12% of the targeted group had been covered. Officials said that the Education Department was mulling over conducting vaccination camps in schools after June 1. A final decision on this would be taken by the Minister concerned, they said. Pandemic protocol, including wearing face masks, is going to be mandatory on school premises.
Meanwhile, the district administration is yet to convene a meeting of the student facility committee, which decides on the bus fares to be charged from the students. Bus owners, officials from the Regional Transport Office, representatives of aided and private educational institutions, and student leaders participate in the meeting. Before the pandemic struck, such meetings used to be held once in three months. It is learnt that the last such meeting was organised when S. Sambasiva Rao was the District Collector.
Sources claimed that the bus owners had demanded that a meeting be called to air their demands. They have made it clear that a minimum of ₹3 would be charged from the students. And, those without school uniforms would not get concession. The students from hill areas, who travel by buses operated under the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation too are worried with many services being cancelled.