BY ADRIAN P. NEMES III
More than a hundred teachers in Bacolod have been infected and are recuperating from Covid-19 while four others succumbed to the disease, Gladys Amilaine Sales, the city schools division superintendent, said yesterday.
Of the four casualties, two were high school teachers and two in the elementary level, Sales said, adding that this is the reason why they are urging that teachers should be vaccinated.
She said teachers are required to conduct home visitations and attend face-to-face trainings but many of them are adamant to do these activities without vaccinations against Covid.
Sales added that when they initially conducted the survey, only a few teachers signified their willingness to be inoculated, but when they made another survey, the numbers had increased.
Councilor Renecito Novero, chairman of the Sangguniang Panglungsod Committee on Education, said that, the Local School Board submitted a proposal to the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force, and asked the agency to consider the teachers as among the frontliners and make them a top priority in the vaccination rollout.
Novero said that, based on the priority guidelines of the Department of Health, teachers are under the 4A category, or essential workers, along with other professionals, such as the media and lawyers, among others.
Since teachers are under the 4A category in the vaccination rollout, they will need to wait until the inoculation of those who have comorbidities is finished before they can be vaccinated, he said.
But considering the fact that teachers are also high-risk since they distribute modules and meet with the parents face-to-face, their status should be elevated to frontliners, Novero added.
In a statement, however, the Department of Education stressed that public school teachers would still need to be registered for the vaccination rollout so that they will be prioritized.
DepEd Undersecretary Alain Pascua said teachers can choose where they would like to be vaccinated, either in the locality where they live or the location of the school where they teach. The vaccination of the teachers is expected to start in June before the school year ends.*