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June 29 2022 3:21 PM ˚
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Some teachers ‘anxious’, as classes return with unvaccinated students

2 teachers
While teachers are required to be vaccinated, students are not, which has left some feeling educators worried they are open to catching breakout cases of COVID-19. (Photo: Jordan News)
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AMMAN — Some teachers in private and public schools are worried about the risks of COVID-19 infections in classrooms due to their interactions with unvaccinated students after the return of face-to-face education, but there is no current indication of going back to distance learning.اضافة اعلان

Rabaa Shhab, a teacher at Mutah School for Girls, said that despite the teachers receiving both doses of the vaccine and following the health protocols, she feels as though teachers are still exposed to risks in the classroom due to the possibility of getting a breakaway COVID-19 infection, especially with the increasing number of cases in the Kingdom.

Shhab also believes that it was still too early to reopen schools. “In our school, several students were infected, and they were sent home to isolate themselves, and this atmosphere of anxiety and fear created a lack of trust in the classroom,” she said, stressing the need to give vaccinations to students to protect them and society as a whole. 

As for social distancing, she emphasized that her class was committed to following safety guidelines, including social distancing and wearing a mask. “We also set up an alternative educational program to prevent overcrowding. But still, gathering between students may occur.”

As for Nayef Amira, a high school biology teacher, said that he was infected with the virus 10 days ago and had to isolate but that: “It was necessary to continue teaching from home on the educational platform to ensure the progress of the educational process, especially for Tawjihi students.”

Amira was fully vaccinated at the time of infection, and he suffered symptoms of fever and loss of smell.

Amira called for encouraging students to take the vaccinations and emphasized that the government should increase awareness campaigns on the importance of the vaccine. He also advised people to stay away from misleading information on social media. 

However, Amira said that the an infection may happen through simple daily activities like buying home needs or communicating with others, and that schools do not exclusively cause the spread.

This is why he believes that the solution is not lockdowns but instead accepting the pandemic as part of our lives and moving forward. “Rather we must remain committed to face-to-face education and give the vaccine to the students, in addition to adherence to wearing masks and following social distancing,” he said. 

Layan Mohammad, a student in the eighth grade, said: “We are very excited to return to face-to-face education and are ready to take the vaccine so that the situation does not return to how it was before” and shared that she wished that the pandemic would come to an end.

Director of the School Health Department in the Ministry of Education, Samar Batarseh, said that the issue with giving vaccinations to students is that it is the parent’s choice and that the ministry can only encourage students and parents to take it as the best solution to continuing face-to-face education.
 
As for forcing them to take it, that is a decision that only the Epidemiology Committee can take, she said.

She stressed that the number of students who received the vaccine in private and public schools is 120,000 from 12–18 years old, while the number of teachers who received the vaccine has reached more than 95 percent.

She also added that face-to-face education will continue and that there is no return to distance education, considering that the current situation is under control and stable in schools.

Jordan News attempted to contact the secretary-general of epidemiological affairs at the Ministry of Health, Adel Al-Belbisi, several times but received no response.

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