England to re-open schools with mass testing measures in place. What about Sri Lanka?

Posted on February 26, 2021  /  0 Comments

Schools across England are set to open on Monday March 8.  They will be using multiple levels of testing to ensure the safety of the students. The plan is for all staff at levels and  all students in secondary and college levels (excepting primary level)  to be tested three times before they are allowed to return to school. After they return, all  (except primary students) will be given a  rapid  test called a Lateral Flow Test for self-administering at home twice a week.

School closures have not only had negative impacts on school dropout rates for poorer children, but have also seen negative impacts on nutritional intake (due to missing school meals) and additional hardships endured by the  children in the plantation sector.

Although all schools across Sri Lanka (except for those in the Western province and in isolated areas) have been set to open by March 15, plans for testing measures in schools remain unclear. Ministry of Education has noted plans to conduct rapid antigen tests on 30 students from two or three schools daily, but is this enough? If we are not able to provide a comprehensive plan for testing, what should the government do?

We propose that whatever measures that the government takes they should ensure that every child gets an education in class or in distance mode. Some children have not been to school at all from March 13th. Some have attended intermittently only. According to an EFSL study, only 45% or less received a distance education during  school closures

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