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Education minister ‘honestly not following’ parents’ stance on testing

Diallo Rabain, the Minister of Education (File photograph by Blaire Simmons)

The education minister defended a Covid-19 testing policy for children returning to school, saying he was “honestly not following” why parents would not want to know their child’s status before going back to the classroom.

Diallo Rabain took to social media this weekend on the requirement of a negative PCR test before returning to school, which he said had already caught asymptomatic coronavirus cases that could otherwise have put more people in quarantine.

In a Facebook exchange Mr Rabain pointed out that the saliva testing programme for school pupils was voluntary – but that the Government was allowed to require the PCR test.

Antigen testing will be added to the saliva screening programme, he said, but an “honour system” at home will help keep students safe.

Mr Rabain said that he was concerned that criticism aimed at the school policy caused him concern over what guidelines were being followed at home.

“I have been told by educators how children are coming in and not following mask mandates, not washing hands, maintaining physical distance when required or having sick symptoms,” he wrote.

“All these things are learnt behaviours from adults and are not learnt in school.”

He added: “I ask, I plead and I beg for everyone else to do their part.

“This only works if we are all working on this together.

“Everything we are doing in schools makes little sense if the public isn't doing what they need to do outside of our schools.”

Mr Rabain acknowledged that the coronavirus could not be eliminated.

But he insisted the school risk management policy cut down the risk of exposure to the virus in the classroom.

“Our children need to and want to be in school,” he wrote.

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Published October 19, 2021 at 7:53 am (Updated October 19, 2021 at 7:53 am)

Education minister ‘honestly not following’ parents’ stance on testing

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