GEORGE TOWN: With face-to-face lessons expected to partially resume in October, many teachers are gearing up to welcome students back to schools after a brief hiatus.A teacher who wished to be known only as Ang, 27, said she would be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 when schools reopened in October, having received her first dose recently.
“About 60% of teachers and administration staff from my school have been vaccinated.
“But I am worried for the students, especially the younger ones, as they will have to wear face masks at all times and maintain physical distancing during lessons.
“Some parents prefer to keep their children at home and have asked for hybrid learning instead,” she said, referring to the combination of online lessons and physical classes to be held simultaneously as part of social distancing measures.
Another teacher who wished to be known only as Lavender, 32, said parents would feel safer sending their children to schools if they knew that the teachers had completed two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.
Former education minister Datuk Dr Radzi Jidin had announced that schools would reopen in stages from Oct 3, starting with exam year students in Forms Five and Six for states under Phase Two of the National Recovery Plan.
He added that schools in Phase Three states could open in full, but schools in Phase One states would not open.
“For states under Phases Two and Three, the decision to reopen schools will still depend on the risk evaluation conducted in the respective states,” he said in a Facebook video post on Aug 15.
Meanwhile, National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) secretary-general Wang Heng Suan (pic) said more than 90% of teachers in Malaysia were fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
“We have about 450,000 teachers in the country, and more than 90% of them have gotten their jabs.
“Some teachers may decide not to be vaccinated because they may have medical or personal problems that we might not know of. We cannot force them to get the jab.
“But the Education Ministry should give them counselling and advise them to get vaccinated for their own safety and that of others.
“NUTP hopes that they will eventually agree to get vaccinated for the sake of education,” he said.
Wang also urged the National Security Council and the Education Ministry to give priority for teachers to be vaccinated as they were frontliners too.
“We hope that priority will also be given to other staff at schools, including canteen operators, cleaners and security guards, so that they can be fully vaccinated before schools reopen,” he added.