The Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education, Manuel Heitor, said this Wednesday that the vaccination plan against covid-19 “is to be fulfilled” and that higher education teachers “should not pass other priorities”.
Asked about the demands made in recent days for higher education teachers and staff to be included in vaccination against covid-19, similarly to other levels of education, Manuel Heitor told reporters that he was unable to “support any corporate initiative in this area”.
In his opinion, the teachers of this teaching degree “Must not pass other priorities” and defended that the “vaccination plan must be fulfilled in the terms in which it was made”.
“Higher education is particularly specific, the number of contact hours is particularly small and there are many other professions that are just as apt to be vaccinated as higher education. We must follow the plan as it is, with firmness and security and ensure that we quickly reach the immunity of the entire population, and I appeal to higher education teachers to show solidarity with the entire population ”, he stressed.
Teaching professionals, from pre-school and 1st cycle, will start to be vaccinated next weekend, and the vaccine against covid-19 will reach the other levels of education as they become more uncertain.
Manuel Heitor, who was speaking on the sidelines of the ceremony for the 35th anniversary of the University and Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro (UTAD), in Vila Real, reaffirmed that face-to-face teaching at universities and polytechnics will “begin on April 19th , if the pandemic condition allows it ”.
In view of these statements, the PSD questioned the Government on the exclusion of teachers, researchers and other employees from priority groups for vaccination against covid-19, unlike other professionals in the education sector.
In a question addressed to the Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education, Manuel Heitor, the social democrats point out that “higher education teachers have a very high age average: 15% are over 60 and 63% are between 40 and 60 years old”.
The PSD also stresses that the current plan, which provides for “vaccinating about 280 thousand teachers and staff from daycare centers to secondary education”, leaves out “those who work in universities and polytechnic institutes”, which has led to criticism by the unions . .
“Now if the Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education, in the communication he addressed to higher education institutions, on the 19th of March, he defended the importance of valuing face-to-face education and underlined that in higher education there are practical classes, there are large classes and there is manipulation of instruments in laboratory classes, it is necessary to create the best conditions so that face-to-face education can be resumed from April 19, ”maintain the deputies.