According to the current plans of the Ministry of Education and Science, universities will be able to operate on a permanent basis in the new academic year, but teachers, staff and students will have to provide a Covid-19 certificate.
This means that everyone associated with higher education must be vaccinated against the coronavirus, or have confirmation of antibodies, or will need to be tested regularly for Covid-19.
While in other higher education institutions more specific actions to ensure safe face-to-face education can be taken in the fall, at Riga University. Stradins (RSU) has already started a small rebellion against forcing students to vaccinate. Even the ombudsman intervened.
The rector of RSU, Aigars Petersons, already issued an order in May, according to which persons who have completed a full course of vaccination can participate in the educational process.
In contrast, unvaccinated individuals will have to take a Covid-19 test within 72 hours before each visit to a workplace or educational institution. They will also have to pay for it themselves.
RSU will only pay for tests for those who have a documented allergic reaction after the first dose of the vaccine.
RSU Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs Guntis Bakhs inquired why the order has already been issued, and the Ministry of Education and Science (IZM) itself has not fully determined the order of education for the next academic year, and it is not known what the epidemiological situation will be in the fall, Latvijas Avīzei replied: “RSU, as the flagship of health education, took responsibility. “
The evolution of the virus to date has clearly shown that we cannot anticipate and prevent all risks, but we can introduce preventive measures to restore the infectious environment, full-time study and work, clinical practice and research.
Many universities in the European Union and the United States offer similar requirements for their students and staff.
However, 79 RSU students disagree with the rector’s order and challenged it, believing that such conditions create a discriminatory attitude towards students and contradict a number of international documents, as well as the right to education provided for in Article 112 of the Constitution.
“Minister of Health Daniel Pavluts promised that there would be no discriminatory treatment of those who decide not to get vaccinated, but this still happens both in education, in the provision of services and other areas, “the protesters reminded the media.
Students believe that if tests are still necessary to ensure epidemiological safety, then they do not have to pay for them out of their own pockets.
When asked why students do not want to be vaccinated, Ilze Rosenberga (one of the signatories of the letter) replies:
“Each student has his own reason. Someone has been asymptomatic, some believe that voluntary vaccination means making a decision based on specific concerns about their health. It should not be so that a person should make a decision about vaccination just to to be able to go to a concert, travel, continue work or study. There are also students who rely on their immunity. “
On the other hand, Rosenberga argues that all signatories are students, but there are also those who “support this struggle by staying in the shadows.”
Could RSU Vaccine Opponents Get Distance Learning? Mr Bach says this will be possible in some curricula, such as the regional policy and public administration master’s curriculum, which will implement hybrid learning, giving students the opportunity to learn the content of the program remotely.
The Ombudsman received complaints about the relevant order of the RSU rector, who replied that the university is obliged to create an infectious environment, therefore the rector was allowed to issue such an order, since a significant part of RSU’s educational work falls on the fields of medicine and health, where this safety is especially important
If someone does not want to get vaccinated, the Ombudsman recommends taking an academic year to temporarily suspend their studies.
Source: GOROD.LV – новости Даугавпилса by gorod.lv.
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