Teachers Union defies gov’t, tells teachers to stay home

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The Guyana Teachers Union (GTU) on Monday called on teachers to stay home in protest at the Ministry of Education’s decision to conduct classes and examinations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Teachers across the country were set to return to school on Monday morning to prepare classrooms for students writing the National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA), Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE).

“The decision was based on the fact that Guyana’s situation remains fluid. Positive cases of coronavirus are still been recorded and this poses a threat to the wellbeing of all Guyanese whose desire is to remain healthy,” the Union said.

The Union advised teachers to remain in the safety of their homes and continue to give virtual support to learners as they finalize their preparations for the respective examinations.
It is unclear at this point how many teachers heeded the call.

NGSA is set for July 1 and 2 while the CSEC and CAPE exams are set to begin on July 13.

“There should be no sense of guilt felt by any teacher since the union’s recommendations to have these examinations written at a later date fell on deaf ears,” the GTU stated.

“We remain committed to the development of Guyana by way of an educated nation, but cannot risk the lives of our dedicated educators, their families and that of our learners.

“Further, we remind every teacher that victimization measures will be resisted in the strongest possible way by GTU,” the statement added.

The GTU has consistently objected to the examination dates and proposed that NGSA can be written in September, and CSEC and CAPE in October. The Union had communicated its concerns to the Ministry of Education but nothing was done.

It is urging teachers to remain safe and continue to follow the health protocols established by WHO and supported by Ministry of Public Health here in Guyana.

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