KUCHING: The relevant authorities have been urged to ensure that all Malaysian teachers are fully vaccinated, as it was recently reported in the news that about 1,500 instructors had not been vaccinated, said Datuk Seri Doris Brodie.
According to the Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) Women chief, the measure is crucial because if teachers are not vaccinated, they are at risk of contracting Covid-19 and infecting the students.
“While we totally understand that a fully vaccinated person can still become infected and spread the virus, vaccination lessens the severity of the infection and hence the risk is reduced.
“Therefore, they (teachers) must protect themselves with vaccination to reduce the severity of the Covid-19 infection,” she said, responding to the recent announcement by Education Minister Datuk Dr Radzi Jidin that schools in several states in Malaysia are set to reopen according to phases starting Oct 3.
Following the number of Covid-19 cases in the state, Doris noted that the Covid-19 Delta variant is the most common in Sarawak and that because it is airborne, they believe that social distancing alone will not prevent its proliferation.
“Hence in our opinion, the school should divide the students into two groups, each group taking turns in attending classes.
“In this sense, we agree that only students who have been vaccinated should attend school, but must adhere to stringent standard operating procedures (SOPs).
“Those (students) who have not yet obtained their vaccination should study at home, and the ministry, schools, and teachers must devise a better method or module to include those who cannot attend classes so that they are not left behind,” she noted.
She also claimed that the students had previously missed almost 100 days of study time in 2020 and that there must be some catch-up work need to be done as part of the new normalcy.
“Perhaps the ministry may reduce or eliminate school holidays (except for public holidays) to compensate for the lost school hours in 2020 and 2021,” she said.
On another note, Doris also expressed her full support for the upcoming vaccination programme involving those aged 12 to 17 and expressed her hope that the programme would be implemented smoothly.