The Member of Parliament (MP) for Kulai, Teo Nie Ching today urged the government to prioritise vaccinating teachers for phase 2 of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Plan (NCIP). This was following a rise of Covid-19 cases and clusters associated with educational institutes nationwide.
In a statement released today, Nie Ching calls upon Coordinating Minister for the NCIP, Khairy Jamaluddin to include teachers for the second phase of Covid-19 vaccination starting next month. Yesterday, Khairy announced that the second phase of NCIP has yet to achieve its target hence new groups would be added inside the queue.
Addressing Khairy’s statement, the former Education Deputy Minister iterated,
“The Coordinating Minister must give priority to all teachers for Covid-19 vaccination from April.”
Despite some 55,539 teachers in government schools under the Ministry of Education (MOE) being included in the first phase of NCIP, a majority of educators within Malaysia are still left out. These includes teachers from government agencies and private institutions such as:
- GENIUS Institution.
- People Religious Schools.
- State Religious Schools.
- MARA Junior Colleges.
- Royal Military Colleges.
- Private Schools.
- International Schools.
- Religious Schools.
- Chinese Independent Schools.
- Correspondence School.
- Expatriate Schools.
Education institutions across Malaysia face a surge in Covid-19 cases after MOE ordered physical classes to resume back in January. As of yesterday, the Ministry of Health (MOH) Director-General Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah revealed that a total of 2,228 Covid-19 cases involving education institutions were reported over the last 3 months. These cases are part of 41 Covid-19 clusters, which include:
- 15 clusters from institutions of higher education.
- 11 clusters from secondary schools.
- 10 clusters from primary schools.
- 5 clusters from tahfiz and madrasah religious schools.
Considering how school closure would have far-reaching ramifications, Nie Ching iterated that she still fully supports the reopening of schools. However, the government must help assure parents that their children are protected from the virus. She stressed,
“Parents need to be assured that appropriate measures are taken to protect children before children are allowed to go back to school.”
The MP for Kulai hopes that Khairy Jamaluddin will be making an announcement next Monday that all teachers, regardless of which institutions they hail from would be prioritised in NCIP phase 2. – The Rocket.