Cyprus Mail

Coronavirus: Parents want self-tests for nursery school pupils

Hispanic Girl Cutting Out Valentine's Heart In Classroom
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Parents of nursery school children on Tuesday called for frequent self-tests as a more efficient way of monitoring the coronavirus situation than a proposal for a weekly rapid test.

Self-tests, which would be carried out by the children’s families at their home before going to school and not by professionals at testing sites, will provide more safety to students and staff of nursery schools, parents unions of public nursery schools said in a statement.

The measure “will achieve the minimum possible (under the circumstances) psychological pressure on our children”, parents said, explaining the flaws in the suggestion by primary school teachers’ Poed for weekly rapid testing for nursery school students.

“Parents will have to be present at the place where the test will be carried out which will create a delay and a large number of people will gather, with the risk of spreading the virus”, they said.

The recommendation “will not achieve its purpose” since there will be no immediate detection of positive cases, resulting in the virus spreading to the rest of the children in the class.

Furthermore, Poed’s recommendation “does not cover the entire student population” as it only provides for mandatory pre-primary education, hence children aged five and older.

But with self-tests, all nursery school children will be tested, parents said.

Highlighting the importance of physical attendance in education, parents said “classes should not be closing when a positive case is detected.”

In the event of a positive result in a class then contacts will be allowed to continue attending school with physical attendance provided parents carry out daily self-tests at home (for a period of seven days), the parents’ union proposed.

And it will be the responsibility of the parents to inform the school and the relevant department of the health ministry in case of a positive result.

The announcement explained how the mental state of children “has been under tremendous pressure” which has already created serious problems for several children over the last two years and is expected to get worse.

“As we have pointed out after a thorough study which we have forwarded to the Poed secretariat, the problems will become much more pronounced in the future,” parents added.

Parents have already mentioned this proposal to the education ministry, requesting the state to provide them with self-tests.


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