- According to the teachers’ union president, a small number of unvaccinated teachers have left the territory ahead of new air travel rules.
- According to the union representing the territory’s teachers, Nunavut lost educators because they refused to be vaccinated and were concerned about flying out of the region.
“We did have six teachers resign that we are aware of because they were concerned about the implications of not being able to travel and not being vaccinated,” said Justin Matchett, president of the Nunavut Teachers’ Association.
“As a result, some of our communities were impacted.” Nunavut teachers are not required to be vaccinated. According to Matchett, the teachers left during the school year, before the federal government’s vaccination requirement for air travelers took effect on Oct. 30.
A negative COVID-19 molecular test will be accepted as an alternative to vaccination as of Nov. 30, but only in limited circumstances, such as for passengers from remote communities who require essential services such as medical care. “From what I understand, they were all teachers who wanted to stay and enjoy teaching and living in Nunavut, and that’s why they left,” Matchett said.
“They were just concerned about finishing the school year and then being unable to board a flight to see their family down south.” According to Asina Angotingoar, the Naujaat District Education Authority chairperson, Naujaat, Nunavut, lost seven educators between the elementary and high schools during the pandemic.
“The high school vice-principal resigned because she refused to take the pandemic vaccine. She was terrified, “Angotingoar stated.
She had no idea how many others had left for the same reason. Angotingoar stated that it is difficult to find teachers to work in Naujaat because they must live in shared housing, which does not suit everyone. However, she said that the high school was able to hire two new teachers in the last few weeks.
Matchett stated that, in general, teachers have cited housing issues and curriculum issues as reasons for leaving their jobs, saying that “we don’t have much in terms of Nunavut-made curriculum that students can relate to.”
Understaffed schools, according to Workman, may ask people who aren’t teachers to teach, such as the learning coach or even the principal, or students may be grouped into larger classes.
Source: CBC News