Pupils, teachers in primary schools, MOE pre-schools, special ed schools to get ART kits by this week

All primary school pupils would be receiving three antigen rapid test kits.
All primary school pupils would be receiving three antigen rapid test kits.PHOTO: PUNGGOL PRIMARY SCHOOL

SINGAPORE - A total of 808,000 antigen rapid test (ART) kits are being distributed to pupils and staff in primary schools, Ministry of Education (MOE) kindergartens and special education schools (pupils or junior sections) by this week.

In response to queries from The Straits Times, an MOE spokesman said pupils are to do a self-test at home this week, assisted by parents.

"This will also serve as a one-time sweep to keep our students and school environment safe, and for the students and our schools to be ready for testing to be part of learning to live with Covid-19," said the spokesman.

She added that schools will be engaging parents to do a one-time familiarisation exercise so that parents and pupils are familiar with the procedures to do an ART swab accurately at home.

Should their ART result be positive, pupils would be required to take a confirmatory polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test at their nearest Swab and Send Home (Sash) clinic.

They are to stay home while awaiting the results and inform their schools, said the spokesman.

On Sunday (Sept 12), Education Minister Chan Chun Sing said there will be a nationwide distribution of ART kits to primary school pupils.

He said all primary school pupils would be receiving three ART kits each as part of a four-pronged approach to keep schools safe from Covid-19.

The approach also includes keeping children at home if they are unwell, safe management measures in schools, and ring-fencing known Covid-19 cases and contacts.

ST on Monday reported that the instructions given to pupils from different schools collecting the test kits varied.

Some were told to take one test on Monday and report the result on Tuesday, while others were told to take one and report the result by the end of the week.

Others were not told to report results but to take one test in order to get familiar with the procedure.