Teachers’ vaccination hesitancy will influence other government employees to follow suit

Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) Youth Exco Surai Abell and Samuel Kuek

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KUCHING, Sept 6: Covid-19 vaccination hesitancy among teachers will influence other government employees to follow suit in rejecting vaccines.

In stating this, Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) Youth Exco Surai Abell and Samuel Kuek lamented that teachers being intellectual people, should not fall into the trap of anti vaccine group and being influenced in not taking the vaccine.

“We need not set precedent because intimidation of this manner can spread and could result to rebels in the profession and also to other department as well,” they said in a statement today.

They were commenting on the 2,500 teachers nationwide who refused to be vaccinated and as such, the Ministry of Education (MOE) will allocate them to do other tasks instead.

While he supports the Ministry’s decision so as not to risk school children being infected if teachers are not vaccinated, Surai believed that this would be a waste of what the teachers have been trained for if other tasks are not their specialty.

“We would prefer the teachers being vaccinated and then continue to teach our children. This way, it will not defeat the purpose of their profession and training. At the same time, both sides are protected. Our skilled teachers must put good use of their training for the benefit of our school children,” he said.

On the other hand, Kuek suggested that MOE should revisit and look into the teacher’s terms of employment and scope of job to ascertain both parties are on the same track.

He said other alternatives such as the existing home-based teaching and learning (PdPR) programme could still be implemented if it is proven effective.

“Education is the most important arm of the country’s nation building and should not be sacrificed for certain individual’s selfishness. Think about the nation instead of capitalise on Covid-19 situation like this to pursue your agenda.

“For the sake of our nation and school going children, the MOE shall by all means get these teachers back to work, restore discipline and thereafter may argue their case,” Kuek said. — DayakDaily