Education ministry: Some students are selling rapid tests

School student using coronavirus rapid test kit (photo is illustrative).
School student using coronavirus rapid test kit (photo is illustrative). Source: Olev Kenk/ERR

As student rapid testing in schools is based on trust, there have been cases, where the Ministry of Education and Research has seen children skip testing before school starts. The ministry hopes the problem is not extensive.

Although many schools have decided to conduct the testing in schools, there are some that have trusted their students to go through testing at home. These test results do not have to be proven and schools have to trust their students, ETV's daily affairs show "Aktuaalne kaamera" reported on Monday.

"There have been situations for younger students, where a teacher asks them if they did a test in the morning, after which they do it in school, that option will remain," said Tartu Mart Reiniku School director Enn Ööpik.

In addition to children simply skipping morning tests, the education ministry has also received information that children have begun selling their coronavirus tests.

"Aktuaalne kaamera" reported that a school manager in Ida-Viru County has written a letter to students, staff and parents, in which they ask the guilty party to come forward. Further information, such as who it was, at what price were the tests sold and who bought them, is not clear.

Education ministry crisis manager Rain Sannik said he hopes these are single cases. "We spoke about there being such a problem in one region at one crisis committee meeting. Since we knew this issue is dealt with, we took it as a possible danger and risk, which has come up in relation to the rapid testing," the ministry official said.

Rakvere deputy mayor Laila Talunik said similar information has reached the city government and schools in the region, as well. The ministry has not been notified due to a lack of evidence. "We spoke about it with some education managers, but it is not a massive issue, as far as we know," Talunik noted.

At the same time, there are schools that have already prevented risks, which could come with home testing. Students at Tartu Kivilinna School must bring their test kit to school in a barcoded bag and show it to their teacher, after which the kit is thrown away.

"I know we have families, where parents leave for work early in the morning and children might not have anyone reminding them to do their testing. If it is known that the school has supportive families, every rule is followed, then perhaps it is not needed, but I know our situation is different," said Tartu Kivilinna School director Karin Lukk.

The education ministry is not planning to make any changes to the rapid testing organization currently. If schools provide more information, the distribution of tests will be reconsidered. "We hope that students and parents realize that this is not an issue, which allows for incorrect behavior and an opportunity to turn a profit. The goal is to fight against the spread of illness," Rain Sannik said.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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