Fatimah: 5,703 kindergarten and nursery educators, caregivers to receive priority for Covid-19 vaccination


File photo of Fatimah

KUCHING (Mar 15): A total of 5,703 educators and caregivers of kindergartens and nurseries will be given priority to receive the Covid-19 vaccine, said Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah.

She said that on March 9, during the first Early Childhood Development Council Meeting of the year, it had been agreed that the ministry would apply to the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) to give priority to early childhood education institution educators and caregivers as frontliners.

“This agreement is made by taking into account the duties of early childhood education institution educators and caregivers who have to make physical contact with young children. They need to carry small children when crying, lead children to the toilet, help them in learning and play activities and so on.

“Therefore, to ensure the safety of our children, educators and caregivers of early childhood education institutions need to be protected first.

“Immediately after the meeting, the ministry has collected information and data on educators and caregivers, and subsequently submitted to the SDMC on March 11, and SDMC has approved this application,” she said.

This does not include preschool educators of schools registered under the Ministry of Education Malaysia (MOE) because they are already listed as vaccine recipients under MOE.

Fatimah reminded educators and caregivers of kindergartens and nurseries to register themselves either on MySejahtera application, or at the nearest Government Health Clinic or District Office.

She said to date, there are a total of 1,702 education institutions are in operation in Sarawak.

She also reminded all to always comply with the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for post-Covid-19 operations issued by the ministry.

“The SOP that we have issued is complete because it contains things that need to be implemented not only by employers and educators and caregivers, but also the role of parents. SOP before, during and after attending IPAKK have also been clearly prepared.

“It is the hope of the Ministry that all parties comply with this SOP for the safety of all, including our young children and to ensure that the chain of Covid-19 infection will be broken,” she said.

On another note, Fatimah informed that applications are now open for the Special Annual Grant of RM5,000, which are for early childhood education institutions registered in the state.

“Applications can be made from now until April 30 via the ministry’s official website.

“In 2020, a total of 2,958 or 97 per cent of registered institutions have benefited from GTK,” she said.

The grant helps the early childhood education institutions in providing a healthy and balanced diet for the children under their care, developing fun learning and digitisation of childcare and guidance, as well as for programmes involving parents, competency programmes for educators and caregivers, payment of rent and employee salaries especially during Covid-19 pandemic, purchases of equipment, furniture and electrical goods, and minor repair works.