Access testing for higher education is possibility in the near future, education min says
To keep higher education open despite rising coronavirus infections, Minister of Education Ingrid van Engelshoven suggested access testing for higher education.
“We are well prepared for a scenario in which we also need to work with access testing in education”, Van Engelshoven said to Nieuwsuur. The Minister of Education acknowledged that this is not an ideal solution but “we need to avoid at all costs that schools need to close again.”
Despite some restrictions still in place, higher education will be allowed to open its doors again on August 30, the Cabinet announced on Friday. The Outbreak Management Team (OMT) had advised the government earlier to hold off with opening education until September 20.
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus around one and a half years ago, students have been following classes mostly online. “It is very important for more than one million students in higher education that have been longing for social contact”, Van Engelshoven said.
Virologist Ab Osterhaus supported the call for testing in higher education to prevent coronavirus cases from shooting up once schools reopen and people return from holiday. “We still live with a threat on the health of the nation”, Osterhaus said according to the ANP.
Once higher education reopens at the end of August, up to 75 people will be allowed per class. This means that education will still have to be partially online. “We need to keep the oversight in case of an outbreak”, Van Engels hoven said.
The Student Union LSVb said they are glad students are able to return to campus but hoped that the restriction on the number of students in one classroom will soon be lifted as well.