Support Village Voice News With a Donation of Your Choice.
All teachers, vaccinated and unvaccinated, were ordered to temporarily return to the classroom on Wednesday October 20, 2021 at the Moruca in the North West District following a vaccinated standoff by teachers attached to a primary school within the sub-region.
On Monday morning, reports from the village of Manawarin , a community of Carib indigenous descendants with a school population of more than 450 students , the teachers at the St Nicholas Primary School decided to apply for no-pay leave , citing their inability to foot the $15,000 required for each of them to undertake a PCR COVID test.
The Village Voice was informed that teachers within Moruca were issued letters on Friday October 15, 2021 in which they were ordered by the Regional Education Officer at Mabaruma to produce a negative PCR test every 7 days or COVID-19 Vaccination proof for entry into the school.
While many teachers within the North West District frowned on the letter, the teachers at St Nicholas Primary grew intense and took a stand on Monday morning.
According to a parent, of the 17 teachers at the school, only 2 are fully vaccinated and as such the headteacher was forced to inform the education department at Santa Rosa of the situation. The school doors were locked since there was no teacher to uplift the keys to the since all the unvaccinated staff are senior teachers at the school.
According to a resident, a photograph of unattended students sitting under a nearby stall teaching each other on Monday morning sparked the situation to grow heart rendering and the Guyana Teachers’s Union (GTU) was subsequently informed. That photograph was then sent to the Ministry of Education, the resident said, and it resulted in the temporary measure taken to allow the unvaccinated teachers in the entire Moruca district to return to the classroom tomorrow.
The news of the green-light was greeted with satisfaction since the teachers noted that they have been working with the students for months, even during the earlier days of the COVID-19 pandemic prior to the manufacturing of vaccines.
It is unclear if the measure would be implemented at all Hinterland regions. Two days ago, the Village Voice reported that teachers at the border village of Paruima will be barred from entering the classroom unless they provide proof of vaccinated or a negative PCR test.
The Regional Education Department at Bartica also informed the teachers that they would their salaries would be cut if absenteeism occurs, forcing the teachers to voice their complaints about the forceful nature of the measures.
Minister of Education , Priya Manickchand told the Village Voice while most teachers in Region Seven are vaccinated, many are still hesitant.
She said too that she is cognizant of the added challenges faced by schools in the Hinterland during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.