The Slovenia Times

Start of self-testing in schools largely problem-free


Ljubljana - Self-testing of Slovenian primary and secondary school students got off to a largely problem-free start on Wednesday. Reports from schools suggest the vast majority of parents consented to testing and only a small percentage of parents decided to switch to remote schooling in protest. There were a few small protests in front of schools.

Schools around the country have reported on-site testing having proceeded without major problems, even for the youngest children. "We had good preparations with the teachers, watched a video of self-testing with the children, explained everything and probably dispelled fears," said head teacher Marijana Kolenko from the Lava Celje Primary School.

Older children were already required to self-test twice a week at home for several weeks before, but from today schools must test all students three times a week on school premises.

"The children have accepted it well... the youngest ones saw it as a fun activity," according to Eva Raušl, the head teacher of the Tone Čufar Primary School from Maribor.

In the run-up to testing some parents launched vociferous social media campaigns opposing testing and threatening protests in front of schools.

While there are no data as yet about how many parents refused to sign testing consent forms - the Education Ministry is gathering the data - statements by head teachers suggest only a small minority made that decision.

At the Lava Celje Primary School and the Ribnica Primary School, about three percent of parents opted for remote schooling. At the Second Primary School in Slovenj Gradec, there were only a handful of such parents, according to the head teachers.

Precise data will probably not be available for a while since thousands of students are currently in quarantine because of confirmed cases of coronavirus in class or among staff.

There were a few protests at schools around the country. The police said small groups of parents had gathered in front of some schools in the morning, talked to school representatives and sought explanations about the new measures.

Only three violations of public law and order were detected, two in Maribor and one in Koper.

Self-testing has been rolled out as a means to keep schools open amidst one of the worst outbreaks of coronavirus in the world.

The 14-day incidence per 100,000 population currently stands at 2,193 and a record 245 patients with Covid-19 are in intensive care.


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