Despite the assurances provided by the Ministry of Education, the Guyana Teachers Union remains opposed to the reopening of schools at this time and the sitting of national examinations in July.
The General Council of the GTU met today and agreed that the Ministry of Education is putting teachers and students at risk by reopening schools and moving ahead with the examinations.
The GTU is advising its members to continue teaching their students virtually from the safety of their own homes.
In its statement, the union also said “the school environment poses a threat to learners, teachers, other school staff and families”, adding that it must be noted that the provisions outlined in the gazetted order are inadequate while not much consideration was given to the welfare of teachers who would have to be in direct contact with learners in the school environment.
Under the order, schools are only be reopened for students preparing for the examinations.
More than fifteen students will not be allowed in a classroom and the revision sessions will only be for three days per week and for no more than four hours on each of those three days.
GTU said it believes its recommendations were not considered. It wanted CSEC examinations to be written in September.
But the CSEC examinations fall under the Caribbean Examinations Council and is therefore an external examination.
The Education Ministry revealed that while Guyana and three other countries objected and voted against the CXC decision to have the exams in July and the format adjusted, the other eleven members of CXC agreed with the body’s decision, therefore majority ruled.
For the Common Entrance examinations, the GTU wanted those examinations to be written in October and students placed in their high schools from January. The Education Ministry said that was considered but it would have created a number of problems for both the primary and secondary schools.
Still the GTU maintains that it is not supportive of the decisions taken by the Ministry of Education and it remains mindful of the coronavirus pandemic in Guyana.