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Teachers Union pulls out of school assessments, other Education Ministry activities to protest vaccination directive

Last Updated on Monday, 23 August 2021, 22:13 by Denis Chabrol

The Guyana Teachers Union (GTU) on Mon Monday night announced that it was pulling out of a school assessment exercise unless the Ministry of Education pulls back a directive that warns teachers that they would be marked as absent if they do not take a COVID-19 vaccine or produce a negative test once weekly.

“The Guyana Teachers’ Union withdraws with immediate effect its participation from the present assessment of schools and all other planned engagements with the Ministry of Education until this release is retracted,” the union said in a brief statement.

The workers’ organisation also stated that it was not opposed to teachers being vaccinated but they must not be forced into doing so. “Our members have called on us to act now in their best interest. We are not opposed to vaccination, but it must be voluntary,” the GTU said.

The Ministry of Education earlier Monday said that teachers are expected to take a coronavirus vaccine or produce a weekly PCR test from a private laboratory. The Education Ministry also said that if workers do not attend school they would be marked as absent.

Authorities said those directives also apply to cleaners and administrative staff.