Prioritise teachers in Phase 2 of vaccination programme, says ex-deputy minister

Teo Nie Ching says teachers should be given priority when Khairy Jamaluddin announces his new Phase 2 vaccine recipient list on Monday.

PETALING JAYA: DAP’s Teo Nie Ching has called on the government to include teachers as a priority group in the second phase of the national immunisation plan after 41 Covid-19 clusters were detected in educational institutions nationwide.

The former deputy education minister said while they were for the reopening of schools, the clusters involving 2,228 cases would deter parents from sending their children, and raised many questions involving safety.

“Parents need to be assured that appropriate measures are taken to protect their children before they are allowed to go back to school,” she said in a statement.

Teo said 55,539 teachers in government schools under the education ministry were included in the first phase of the immunisation programme.

Teo Nie Ching.

However, she said, teachers in institutions managed by other government agencies, like the Mara junior colleges and the Royal Military College as well as those in private institutions were left out.

“I hope when Khairy Jamaluddin makes the announcement on Monday, all teachers, whether in government or in private sectors, will be prioritised as they and their students could be exposed to the same level of risks,” she said, referring to the coordinating minister for the programme

Yesterday, health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said 811 clusters had been reported from Jan 1 to March 25.

Of this number, 15 involved higher learning institutions, 11 secondary schools, 10 pre-schools and primary schools and five tahfiz centres and madrasahs.