The Education and Health Committee of the House of Representatives has advised government authorities to inoculate Grade XII students who are sitting for the board examination from August 15 onwards with COVID-19 vaccines.

Committee Chairperson Jayapuri Gharti directed the government to maintain all health and safety guidelines and demanded the presence of doctors, nurses and necessary medicines at the examination centres. "Apart from adopting all the health protocols, infected students who are not able to join the examination should be given a chance to attend it in the second phase," Gharti said. She further said, "As many as 450,000 students are set to appear for the upcoming exams.

If we can inoculate them, it will be advisable for the government to do it."

The committee also said that no examination centre should allow gathering of more students. The government should rather increase the number of examination centres, it said. There are as many as 4,334 examination centres across the country, many of which should include hundreds of students at a time. There are around 90 schools that have at least 500 students in one school.

The government has already decided to hold this year's examination at home centres. The examination should have been completed two months ago, but the government had to push the examination date due to rising cases of COVID-19.

Committee member Giriraj Mani Pokharel also asked the government to boost the vaccination drive for teachers and students and said the government should work more effectively for importing vaccines from foreign countries.

A version of this article appears in the print on July 29 2021, of The Himalayan Times.