Teachers as role models should show better judgement
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on google
Share on whatsapp

Dear Editor,
THE Guyana Teachers Union now stands exposed as a political scapegoat of the PNC given its recent pronouncement that, “Teachers! We will stand with you should there be any attempt to make vaccination mandatory for returning to the classroom.” This should be contrasted with the President’s statement in which he urged teachers to show leadership and get vaccinated. He explained the dangers of the GTU’s stance when he summed up that, “Because vaccines inoculate everyone against this dreaded deadly virus, all of us should be troubled by those who refuse to be vaccinated. The unvaccinated are now as deadly as the virus itself for they are not only susceptible to infection, they will carry it… the government has a responsibility to defend the health of all”.

We are our brothers’ keepers and it is our duty to encourage them to get vaccinated, the GTU’s statement defies the commitment it has made to ‘embark on a sensitisation campaign to better inform teachers of the facts surrounding vaccination and the importance and benefits of being vaccinated.’ It runs contradictory and implies that, ‘It’s Ok not be vaccinated and the government cannot force you to’. This type of defiance sends the wrong message to teachers. Teachers are required to set good examples and are role models for our children; when they do not become vaccinated many of our children will want to do that and the ‘unvaccinated’ will indeed be ‘as deadly as the virus’ and will be carriers. When our very education system which [is] supposed to be in the forefront to encourage the vaccination drive is playing politics with our children’s future then indeed ‘the government has a responsibility to defend the health of all’. Indeed the time has come for vaccination to become mandatory.

The decision to vaccinate or not to should no longer be an individual’s decision; to allow any individual the choice to do so is tantamount not only to being ‘tyrannical’ but dictatorial on the part of the GTU. The government must act to protect everyone and making it mandatory should now be the way forward. The world leaders are now coming to realise that COVID-19 vaccination must be made mandatory. In the UK, the government passed a new legislation which will be effective from November 11th which will require people working in care homes to be vaccinated to protect them from the risk of death and serious illness that can arise from contracting COVID-19. France has agreed to legislate similarly. Whilst the GTU has said that, ‘Our teachers are no different since some of our members have reservations due to personal illnesses and/or fear’ it needs to understand that the fears of far worst personal illnesses to our people are a lot more real than imaginary.

An article published by McKinsey and Company submitted that, despite pockets of concerns, consumer confidence in COVID-19 vaccines is increasing as more real life experiences accumulates on the safety and efficacy of the vaccines (https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/pharmaceuticals-and-medical-products/our-insights/getting-to-work-employers-role-in-covid-19-vaccination#). Teachers must use the research tool to gather and sift information so as to make informed decisions; they must not be misled. I am very disappointed that my erstwhile colleagues would fall for such cheap political garbage.

The government as an employer has a responsibility to ensure the health and safety of their employees and any visitors to their premises such as customers, suppliers and the general public. Should this not apply to the teachers and the school environment? What about the responsibilities of the teachers as employees? It is your responsibility to ensure not only your well-being but that of your colleagues and those under your charge– your students.
As our infections and death from COVID-19 are climbing rapidly and as we are now threatened by the Delta variant, imagine how ridiculous it is that it is mandatory to be fully vaccinated to enter a night club or a sports stadium rather than to enter a classroom.

Yours sincerely,
Haseef Yusuf

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :
Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on google
Google+
Share on whatsapp
WhatsApp
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on google
Share on whatsapp
Scroll to Top
All our printed editions are available online

Daily E-Paper

Pepperpot

Business Supplement

Supplement

emblem3
Subscribe to the Guyana Chronicle.
Sign up to receive news and updates.
We respect your privacy.