Editorial: Unvaccinated teachers: Still role models?

·2 min read

Teachers are said to be the second parents of their students. It is imperative that they teach the young ones well and their actions must be worth emulating.

It is a teacher’s duty to do good for their students; in this time of the Covid-19 pandemic, the imperative good is to get vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Teachers who have been vaccinated must be applauded—they added an extra layer of protection for themselves, and they have set themselves as role models for a community that believes in science.

Self-reflection must be done by teachers who have no reason not to get their jabs against Covid-19. They must reevaluate themselves: Are they still worthy to be called second parents?

As there is no law that mandates vaccination against Covid-19, the Department of Education (DepEd) has not fired any unvaccinated teacher. Unjabbed teaching personnel are given tasks other than teaching lessons in front of students in an in-person classroom setting.

The DepEd has set the opening of School Year 2022-2023 on Aug. 22, 2022. The implementation of the five-day-a-week in-person classes (also called face-to-face classes) is also set on Nov. 5 this year.

Unvaccinated teachers have been required by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases to submit negative results of an antigen test or a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction test every two weeks in order to join school activities in person.

As of June 2, over 3,000 teaching and non-teaching personnel in public schools in Central Visayas were still unvaccinated against the virus.

The Cebu Provincial Government recently gave the 10,000 antigen test kits it had received from a private company to the DepEd-Central Visayas, and these are for unvaccinated teachers. It was not stated in the news whether the test kits would be used only by teachers based in Cebu Province.

Here’s the rub: Giving free antigen test kits could harden the stance of unvaccinated DepEd personnel not to avail themselves of the free Covid-19 vaccines.

True, unvaccinated teachers have freedom too—they have the right not to be vaccinated.

Unvaccinated teachers must also be given freedom to dig into their own pockets as a consequence of their personal decision.

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