As the Ministry of Education works on a policy to guide the possible reopening of schools in September, the Guyana Teachers Union has made it clear that it will not be supportive of any requirement that would make it mandatory for teachers to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
In a statement, the GTU said it has always supported free choice in taking any COVID-19 vaccine and it will continue to do so.
The union said it will not advise teachers against taking the vaccine but it will also not support any enforcement measures to get teachers vaccinated.
The union said there is a need for more awareness campaigns to match the zeal of the vaccination drives since persons continue to have questions and reservations about the vaccine.
The Teachers Union said it believes that the vaccine must remain voluntary and not mandatory and there should be no imposition.
The GTU is urging all teachers and right-thinking Guyanese to resist any attempt by any individual organization or body that would subject persons a tyrannical decision. The union reminded that the decision to be vaccinated is a personal one and Guyana must always be the land where rights and freedoms are respected.
Regional Education Officers and the Principal Education Officers were asked to submit information on the number of vaccinated teachers within their district. Chief Education Officer Marcel Hutson said the information is to guide the Education Ministry’s policy for the reopening of schools.
President Irfaan Ali has called on teachers to get vaccinated. At a press conference on Monday, the President said the nation’s children should not be exposed to unvaccinated teachers.
A growing number of government agencies and private companies are now demanding that their staff get vaccinated to protect themselves against COVID-19