AOb: higher education staff is divided over corona pass
Staff in MBO, HBO and WO are strongly divided about whether a corona pass (CTB) should be introduced for students. A majority is in favor of a booster shot for employees, and thinks the ventilation is not in order.
'Is it desirable to ask students for a corona admission ticket, so that education can continue physically?' A small majority of employees in higher education (54 percent) answered 'yes' to this question. But a significant minority (42 percent) agree with 'no'.
That is the final score from a survey by the AOb completed by about 3700 employees from MBO, HBO, WO and research institutes.
The opinions of proponents and opponents are often firm. They vary from 'the introduction of an admission ticket creates a division in society and the dropout of a large group of students' to 'I am in favor of compulsory vaccination for everyone, and in case of fraud awarding a heavy penalty'.
'Such a corona admission ticket poses major ethical issues'
One of the respondents summarizes the issue succinctly: 'It is a constitutional right not to be vaccinated, making a corona admission ticket mandatory is contrary to this. At the same time, there is a great risk of contamination, so the safety of students and staff is at stake.'
“Such an admission ticket poses major ethical issues,” says AOb-chairman Tamar van Gelder. “I don't have an answer to that myself either. But the survey makes it clear that there are many objections among the staff. There is little support for the introduction of a corona access pass for students in MBO and higher education.”
The cabinet wants to make it possible to introduce such a pass when the need really arises. In that case, the pass would immediately apply to all institutions in a sector, and the participation councils and works councils would also be sidelined. All this must be regulated in an Order in Council that must be discussed by the House of Representatives this or next week.
In addition to the medical and ethical considerations, it is also questionable whether such an access pass is practicable. Is it feasible in practice to check whether all students have such a pass? About 47 percent of those surveyed think so, but 35 percent don't.
Universities of applied sciences and universities have already informed the Higher Education Press Office that such a check would cause 'major implementation problems'. Together, the institutions have hundreds of locations, with different entrances, where thousands of lectures and work groups take place every week. 'Education is not a festival with one clear gateway'.
'Online class is only acceptable if it is not hybrid: so either online class or physical'
The survey also shows that it would be very difficult to provide fully-fledged alternative education to students who have not been vaccinated or tested and therefore cannot attend school. According to 50 percent of the respondents, this will not work.
'Combining online lessons with physical lessons causes work pressure and lowers the quality of education,' says one of the respondents. "Online class is only acceptable to me if it's not hybrid," says another. 'So either online lessons or physical classes.' “Many colleagues indicate that the cabinet is asking for the impossible here. With the current workload, it is impossible to offer an alternative program”, says AOb- director of higher education Douwe van der Zweep.
A majority of staff in higher education (60 percent) is in favor of giving employees a booster shot – voluntarily. 'It remains a crazy world', says one of the respondents. 'You can invite a maximum of four people at home, but at school you walk among all the students you don't know if they can make you sick. Bring on that booster shot!'
Also in this case there are opponents. "I think a booster is ethically irresponsible, as long as large parts of the world have not had a chance to vaccinate," said one interviewee.
'The ventilation is insufficient, only with windows and doors open do the co2 meters give the green light'
Finally, many respondents indicate that the ventilation at their institution is not in order. Only 16 percent are sure, but 38 percent know or don't think so.
'The ventilation at our school is insufficient,' says one interviewee. 'The school doesn't do anything about it and points to the landlord, but he doesn't come up with a solution.' Another reports: 'Ventilation is insufficient, only with windows and doors open do the CO2 meters give the green light.'
At the AOb there are serious concerns about ventilation. “Many schools don't have this in order,” says AObPresident Van Gelder. “Something really needs to be done about this quickly, especially now that winter is approaching and it is becoming very difficult to keep windows open.”
De AOb has meanwhile a helping hand developed with which you as a teacher can check which steps you can take to improve ventilation. “The basic principle is that the employer must take action,” says Van Gelder. “He has to solve it. This should have been arranged a long time ago. A healthy and safe workplace is simply a legal requirement.”