He said a large number of students remain at home for over one and a half years due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Dr. Samantha Ananda said it is problematic, since students are the future of the nation and they should be given necessary education.
He said if vaccinating children will pave the way for schools to reopen, a decision must be taken to inoculate them promptly and that the Pfizer vaccine doses to be received by Sri Lanka should be assigned to vaccinate the school-going students.
Pfizer for schoolchildren, likely
Meanwhile, during yesterday's (03) COVID-19 prevention committee meeting, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had said that the Pfizer vaccine could be given to the schoolchildren of the relevant age groups as soon as the medical approval is received.
SL schools closed more than any other country
Sri Lanka had its schools closed more than any other country in the world, despite having a comparatively lower number of cases and deaths. Schools in other countries opened even before children were vaccinated, said Prof. Neelika Malavige - Head of the Department of Immunology and Molecular Medicine at the University of Sri Jayawardenapura.
She said this during a special virtual session yesterday (03) organised by the Gateway College on ‘The COVID situation in Sri Lanka and the impact on Schooling’.
"For example, in November 2020 when the UK had large waves of COVID-19, schools were open. However, schools in Sri Lanka remained closed. In May 2021 only 23 countries in the world had school closures and Sri Lanka was one of them. At present, in September 2021, only 15 countries including Sri Lanka have complete closure of schools," she said.
Prof. Malavige also mentioned online education was poorly attended as a large population of children in the country lack necessary facilities to attend online classes.
Further, attending school online deprives children of vital milestones needed for social development, resulting in devastating and long-lasting effects on children, she pointed out.