Thousands of covid-19 tests are expected to be conducted in schools across the country, according to the Ministry of Education (MINEDUC).
Education Minister, Dr. Valentine Uwamariya, told journalists on Monday evening during a press conference at her office that testing covid-19 in schools began today, November 16, 2020.
She said that MINEDUC is working with Rwanda Biomedical Center (RBC) to carry out the tests.
In total, 3000 students will be tested, of which 2500 will lower learning and 500 in higher learning institutions including universities.
“These are samples,” she said. “Not all students will be tested.” She added that the testing exercise will be carried out in one week and results will be made public by the ministry of health (MINISANTE) will announce all the figures
Schools closed before any other activities and re-opened last.
Before the reopening of schools, there were worries that students would experience high contagion levels, but so far after two weeks, no cases have been officially reported in schools. However, worries of possible traces of the virus in schools.
“It is very complicated to enforce guidelines due to the nature or setting of schools,” Minister Uwamariya.
Such settings she referred to include school canteens that have difficulty enforcing the guidelines and classroom space that is limited to be able to accommodate all students.
She said sitting arrangements recommended was complicated to respect because schools had no where to put students. We could not enforce the guidelines 100%,” she said.
Therefore, she said, “These tests will show us or give us a clear picture of whether we have the virus in schools or not.”
The Ministry is expecting to allow students in lower learning to resume school next week. Once the covid-19 results are out, “we will not send students to schools with the virus. We hope that won’t happen. We hope there is no virus.”