The government is pulling out and private schools will eventually have rapid tests schools too

Students, teachers, and private school officials will also ultimately perform rapid antigen tests when face-to-face teaching resumes. The guarantee was given by the government in a statement on Wednesday evening. The Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Labor, Solidarity and Social Security “will carry out the testing process in all educational institutions and social responses in support of children,” the executive announced. About 100,000 people are at stake.

The Council of Ministers on Sunday approved the expenditure (up to 20 million euros) for the purchase of services for the implementation of rapid antigen tests in education, which cover the tests to be carried out in “public educational institutions” in advance. on secondary education and on “social responses in support of children in the social and solidarity sector”, ie day care centers managed by IPSS or other private institutions.

This solution left out at least nearly a hundred thousand students and teachers of private education. The schools are attended by 84,683 secondary school students – the only level of education whose students want to include the Directorate-General of Health’s strategy in mass testing – according to the latest figures released by the Directorate-General of Education Statistics and Science, which refer to the 2018 academic year / 19 refers. That’s about 27% of students at this level of education.

In the case of teachers, all are tested regardless of the level of education in accordance with the national strategy mentioned. According to official figures, 11,266 teachers teach in the private and cooperative sectors, taking into account all primary and secondary education. And these are the ones that are not taken into account in the tests. These data refer to the continental territory only, with the exception of the Azores and Madeira regions, which are autonomous in managing the educational system.

In addition to these 96,000 or so students and teachers who were not originally included in the plan to conduct rapid antigen tests, there are about 20,000 non-teaching staff working at private schools in education, according to the 2019 Education Level Report recently published by the National Council.

According to the PUBLIC experts, it could be unconstitutional to exclude private students and teachers from the rapid test strategy when they return from class. Access to rapid antigen tests should be viewed as a public health issue, and at this point in time constitutionalists believe that there should be no distinction between the public and private sectors.

The situation prompted the Association of Private and Cooperative Educational Institutions (Aeep) to ask the government for clarification, warning that it would not settle for “unacceptable discrimination”. For PUBLIC, Aeep Executive Director Rodrigo Queiroz e Melo stressed that this “is not an educational problem, but a public health problem”. A similar argument is used by the parliamentary benches of the PSD and CDS, which on Monday asked the government about this decision.

Back to top button