Over 2.7 billion euros for school and daycare exams – this is how it goes after Easter
How should Corona tests continue in schools? In some federal states, it ends after Easter, while others continue to oblige students, including Berlin, Hamburg and Saarland. The costs of nationwide rapid tests have so far reached more than 2.7 billion euros.
FFederal states have spent more than 2.7 billion euros on rapid coronavirus tests in schools and in some day care centers. This was the result of an inquiry from WELT at state ministries of education. It is likely that the total costs of children’s tests were significantly higher, given that ten countries included the total of school tests, five countries gave the costs of daycare centers and schools together. No response was received from Schleswig-Holstein.
North Rhine-Westphalia is the leader in student tests. The most populous federal state has spent about 737 million euros on lollipop and rapid tests for children and young adults. Bavaria reached half a billion for schools and day care centers, in Baden-Württemberg about 231 million, and Thuringia about 97 million euros. In Berlin, rapid tests in regular schools have so far cost 140 million euros, the Berlin Education Board announced: “This shows how important it is to protect schoolchildren and all school staff from infection,” a spokesperson said. The tests are not taken as widely in any other area of society as in the Berlin schools.
About a year ago, state governments gradually ordered school students to have regular coronavirus checks. Since the fall, exams have also become mandatory for daycare children in most countries.
Now many countries will soon work without the tests. In many schools, new rules apply when classes begin after the Easter holiday, which varies widely depending on the federal state, WELT’s inquiry to education ministries shows.
From every day to nothing more
North Rhine-Westphalia, Saxony and Baden-Württemberg Already on the first day after the Easter holiday, we completely refrain from testing for no reason in regular schools and day care centers. Bavaria and Hesse Compulsory exams will be adhered to three times a week only until April 30, after which the exams will not be applied. at Rhineland-Palatinate Children and young adults can voluntarily test themselves twice a week at school.
Some countries are tightening their testing requirements after the holidays, for example Berlin, Lower Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt. In the capital, in the first week after the holiday, all children no longer have to test themselves three times a week, but daily. The daily negative corona test is also a prerequisite for children and young people who have recovered or have been vaccinated in order to participate in the lessons. The same applies to the first eight school days after the holidays in Lower Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt. As of May 2, the test obligation will not apply.
In the Saarland and in Hamburg After the Easter holidays, students are required to test themselves twice a week, previously it was three times. In Saarland, children and young people who have been fully vaccinated or have recovered are exempt from this obligation, and everyone in Hamburg must continue to be tested. at Thuringia You’ll also keep testing twice a week – for now until April 30th.
at Brandenburg Exams remain three times a week for this group of students and preschoolers, and the same goes for Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. However, according to the Ministry of Education, there are plans to prescribe only event-related exams with the next amendment to the School Code. Moreover Bremen WELT has announced that from May 1, tests will only be mandatory for symptoms. After the holidays in Bremen and Bremerhaven, exams are taken daily, and then three times a week in the second week of school.
at Schleswig-Holstein The obligation to test in schools was lifted on March 19. Teachers and school staff receive two tests per week that they can use voluntarily.
Pediatricians’ associations are against further testing
Criticism of continued testing in federal states and associated quarantine periods comes from pediatric associations: “No other group of people compelled to take such a measure even with only daily testing has a sensitivity of less than 40 percent,” Jacob Maske, president of the professional association For Pediatricians (BVKJ). You’ll see “crowds of false negatives and false positives” again. “We are not currently considering testing without a proper reason,” explained the president of the German Society for Pediatric Infectious Diseases (DGPI), Tobias Tenenbaum.
The new Infection Protection Act also makes it possible to order coronavirus tests in schools without reason. The federal law is limited until September 23, 2022. In March, just before the law was passed, education ministers unanimously announced a way to return to “normal life” in schools. Accordingly, all school restrictions should be lifted by May 2022 at the latest.