Over 95 percent of the schools did not receive their coronavirus rapid test kits
More than 95 percent of schools in the Netherlands have not yet received any coronavirus rapid test kits, with King’s Day and the May holidays rapidly approaching, the AVS association of school directors reported after conducting research of 800 school principals. Additionally, at 56 percent of all primary schools, an average of one in five classes has been sent home for coronavirus-related reasons in the past two weeks. The number of schools that sent 100 percent of their classes home due to a confirmed infection or quarantine procedures increased from 1 percent to 2.2 percent.
Delivery of self-tests to primary and secondary education personnel started on April 14. So far, only 5 percent of schools received these tests as the majority of schools found the delivery time around the May holidays inconvenient. In two-thirds of the schools already using self-tests, they are perceived as useful by teachers.
“School directors have been very busy in recent months and are ready for the May holiday. It is really important that the rapid tests are there, but preferably also that the teaching staff is vaccinated,” said AVS chair Petra van Haren.
Other than self-tests, which are used to ensure that infections can be prevented or sourced in schools, van Haren emphasized that it was essential for all teachers to receive coronavirus vaccine as soon as possible.
“We have to ensure that all children can continue to go to school in the future and do not have to go home unnecessarily, which means protecting educational staff as much as possible. Education, like healthcare, is at the forefront. We see that education is protected in other countries and that should also happen in the Netherlands,“ she explained.
Ministers Wouter Koolmees from Social Affairs, Wopke Hoekstra from Finance and Bas van 't Wout from the Economic Affairs said on Wednesday that secondary schools and secondary vocational education must be fully reopened after the May holidays. Higher education students are able to physically attend classes at universities approximately once per week starting on Monday.