MUNI Rector Martin Bareš Criticises “Unambitious” Vaccination Plan

Martin Bareš, Rector of Masaryk University (MUNI), has expressed concerns over an “unambitious” vaccination plan in the Czech Republic. As the future is still uncertain, even for the Autumn semester of 2021, Bareš is urging for teachers to be included in the first stages of vaccination. Photo credit: KB / BD. 

Brno, Jan. 25 (BD) – The Rector of MUNI, Martin Bareš, has called for the acceleration of the  vaccination program for the Czech population. At the heart of his concerns is the need to bring students and pupils back to classrooms. “University students will be without proper full-time teaching for almost a year, which is de facto devastating in many fields. We must speed up the vaccination process or it will have an adverse effect on the entire education system at all levels, primary, secondary and tertiary,” he said.

Nevertheless, MUNI has declared a full commitment to quality online teaching, and fully supports this solution until the epidemic situation is under control. At the moment, over 33,000 students and employees at MUNI are using the MS Teams application for tuition.

“Our goal is that in the Autumn semester 2021/2022 full-time teaching can take place on all study programs, with the possible exception of large lectures,” said Bareš. However, the future remains uncertain, and the possibility of keeping tuition online even into the Autumn semester is not off the table.

Classes at MUNI will stay online for the coming Spring semester, but should the situation improve significantly, there could be a switch towards a hybrid system.  

In support of the vaccination efforts, MUNI has offered its logistical support, as well as human resources from the Volunteer Center. The university has communicated its offer of assistance to both the City of Brno and the South Moravian Region.

“No one questions the fact that doctors, social workers, and the elderly should receive vaccines in the first phase. Immediately afterwards, it should be the turn of primary, secondary and university teachers, otherwise the education system will gradually collapse,” added Bareš. He argued that teachers must be included in the first stages of vaccination, as parents are unable to fully substitute for them in the long run, meaning their absence is not sustainable.

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