St Vincent and the Grenadines: Giving his statement on the sitting in of teachers in the staff room at the West St George Secondary School against the mandate vaccination policy of the government, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves cited he can ask the Education Ministry to get new teachers if the situation remains the same.
Speaking on Wednesday, PM Gonsalves implored the teachers not to punish and put at risk the future of the students by not teaching them and sitting in the staff room.
He added that if they only desire to sit in the staff rooms for the whole day, he would ask the Education Minister to hire the retired teachers for short contracts at their places so that the study of students is not compromised.
“You want to go to school and stay in the staffroom? I ain’t send any police to move you. I will just get somebody else to teach people’s children, including, if necessary, retired teachers and I will pass a Cabinet decision to have them paid whatever their remuneration under the new contract (short term) whilst they still continue to get their pension for what they have served already”.
Since last Friday, the teachers of the school have been protesting against the government’s mandate vaccination policy in solidarity with all their unvaccinated colleagues.
The prime minister highlighted, there’s nothing personal issue of him with those who are refusing to get themselves vaccinated against COVID-19, but they must keep in mind that their decision will have a consequence.
“If you decide you are not taking it, choices have consequences,” he added.
Earlier in the month of October, the Cabinet, on the advice of health experts and sub-committee of NEMO – National Emergency Management Organisation, made the decision to mandate immunisation of teachers and the other staff members of the schools.
Even the opposition party (NDP) came in support of the teachers while urging the SVG government to ease the restrictions, calling it a “draconian policy”.