Ministry of Education, Guyana

Health, Nutrition and HIV/AIDS Related School Policies

 Testing, Confidentiality and Disclosure of HIV&AIDS

A. Testing and medical advice

  •  MoE shall not engage in the compulsory testing for HIV of employees or students.
  •  Employees and students may voluntarily take tests and counseling.
  •  Information will be provided on Voluntary Counseling and Testing sites

B. Ensuring Confidentiality

  •  All health records about employees or students HIV/AIDS status MUST be kept securely and confidence.
  •  Only with written permission can anyone have access to the records.

C. Disclosure

  • Disclosure on HIV status of an employee or student is voluntary.
  • Institutional procedures shall be established to ensure confidentiality
  •  Sanctions will be imposed for breaches of confidentiality.

 Employment, Care, Treatment and Support of people affected by HIV&AIDS

  •  Rights of those infected or affected by HIV&AIDS MUST be respected.
  • Heads of education institutions shall be responsible for creating an enabling environment that is free from stigma and discrimination.

A. Recruitment and admission

  •  Employers MUST NOT consider HIV status as part of the employment procedures.
  •  Decisions about admission to an education institution MUST not be based on HIV status.

B. Employee rights and careers

  • Employees living with HIV MUST have job security.
  • They MUST not be overlooked with opportunities for development and promotion.
  •  They may be transferred from work positions through a physician's recommendation.

C. Students and the right to study

  •  Administrators/ teachers shall follow policies for students with health problems.
  •  HIV or AIDS are not causes for denial of normal study opportunities or segregation. If a student is unable to cope with the workload, the institution should try to accommodate the student, as would be the case for any major illnesses or disability.
  •  Reasonably accommodate employees with severe ARV side effects or AIDS-related illnesses to enable them to continue working as long as possible.

D. Employee, Student and Family Assistance Programmes

  •  To reduce the impact of HIV and AIDS on work and study, education institutions shall consult with representatives of employees and students to establish or extend employee,
  •  student and family services.
  •  Services may include: compassionate leave; referrals to support groups or to tutorial programmes for students; financial counseling.
  •  Special attention shall be paid to the needs of employees and students who care for HIV-positive relatives; to employees who are single parents and affected by HIV&AIDS; to students who care for HIV-positive relatives; to students who are orphans and/or vulnerable in other ways.

E. Disciplinary Procedures and Grievance Resolution

  • Grievances:

                a. Communication channels to enable PLHIV and those affected by HIV and AIDS to raise concerns, grievances and to access support.
                b. Complainants will have the right of appeal related to unfair dismissal, denial or unjustified restriction of employment or work related rights and benefits.
                c. Diciplinary procedures for students shall be in line with the regulations of the non academic standards and norms of the MoE.

  •  Refusal to work or study with an individual living with HIV
  • There is no justification for refusing to work, study or be present in the education institution with HIV positive individuals.
  •  Employees or students who are not prepared to work or engage in learning activities with an HIV-positive individual shall be offered education and counseling.
  •  If counselling fails, the education institution will follow the relevant procedures.
  •  An employee or student shall use existing mechanisms of redress, if verbal or physical abuse occurs.

- Violation of medical confidentiality

  •  Employees or students who acquire information about the HIV status of someone else shall not disclose such information, unless authorized to do so.
  •  An employee or student may be disciplined if found violating medical privacy of another.

Care and Support of Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC)

  • Educational institutions have a responsibility to identify and support any student who is ill, orphaned, vulnerable or with special needs so that he/she is able to continue and complete their education.
  • Youth organizations are encouraged to address the educational needs of orphans, vulnerable children and students with special needs including life skills and HIV&AIDS Education.
  •  Bursary and other schemes shall be encouraged to make provisions to cover the educational needs of students who are ill, orphaned, vulnerable or with special needs at all levels of the education sector.

 

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