New school year starts, schools reporting delays in rapid test delivery

Schools should remain open if the epidemic situation significantly deteriorates.

(Source: SITA)

Schools in Slovakia opened for the new school year on September 2, the third one impacted by the Covid pandemic.

706,825 pupils will attend primary and secondary schools this school year, including 65,622 first-graders.

President Zuzana Čaputová, who attended the opening of the new school year at the Dubová Primary School in Bratislava, wished all the pupils lots of strength.

“We all wish for the school year to be more standard so children can attend and be educated at school, and be in touch with their friends,” she said, as quoted by the TASR newswire. She added that the previous two school years negatively impacted education and mental health.

Late rapid tests

Unlike previous school years, schools should not be closed en masse even if the situation deteriorates significantly, and the district switches to the black tier of the alert system, known as the Covid automat in Slovakia.

The Education Ministry only wants to close classrooms where infection is detected.

Ready for hybrid teaching? Schools will be switching between online and in-person education Read more 

While masks are mandatory for most pupils, testing in schools is voluntary and free of charge. The ministry has promised to supply schools with test kits, which should be given to parents interested in testing their children with rapid tests.

Yet, several schools have complained that they did not receive the tests on time or that their number was not sufficient. The Bratislava-based Za Kasárňou Primary School wanted to give parents the testing kits even before the school year started, but the tests had not arrived. The interest in testing was huge, and not all parents received the kits, the Sme daily reported.

School bags rather than keyboards, please. Kids are more than ready to go back Read more 

Education Minister Branislav Gröhling (SaS) responded that all schools that ordered the testing kits will receive them eventually, and explained that there were not sufficient capacities in the stores run by the district authorities to cover the demand.

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