While in Linden today to launch the Government of Guyana’s Because We Care cash grant programme at the Christianburg/Wismar Secondary School, the Honourable Minister of Education Priya Manickchand urged residents to take the COVID-19 vaccine so that schools can safely reopen physically.
Minister Manickchand explained to parents that the COVID-19 vaccination rate is closely related to the possibility of schools reopening to physical teaching/learning.
She said that despite the many interventions by the Ministry of Education and its teachers to keep children engaged, students’ performance has dropped. She said that studies show that the longer school doors remain closed, children will suffer from learning loss and more students will drop out.
Minister Manickchand reported that when the first mock examination was written for the National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA), 2600 Grade Six students did not write the examination and that the results from the examination were worrying.
She told parents that it is known that children are not receiving the same level of education at home as they would if they were in the classroom. She said that the results of the last mock examination was better but still not what it should be and that more children wrote the examination due to the Ministry going in search of those children who missed the first.
The Education Minister stressed the importance of the reopening of schools to physical engagements and pleaded with parents present today to go and take their COVID-19 vaccine. She said, “If you don’t take this vaccine, I can’t open schools and if we don’t open schools your children will suffer. All these dreams we had of what they will be when they grow up will be affected. It is one of the realities of the times we’re living. You are their only shield.”
She told parents that if they don’t vaccinate themselves, they are exposing their children in a major way.
Further, she said that the Government of Guyana will be importing vaccines approved for children from ages 12 to 17. Minister Manickchand encouraged parents that when the doses arrive, to ensure their children are vaccinated against COVID-19.
She said, “It is not a mandatory thing, but I’m begging you to consider it and to take this vaccine. Do this for our children. It’s a plea, I’m begging you.”