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The education crisis looms in England due to the lack of COVID-19 tests

The education crisis looms in England due to the lack of COVID-19 tests

Up to 25,000 teachers in England are on self-isolation and cannot return to work due to a shortage of coronavirus tests, the Guardian reported on September 16.

According to the newspaper, some schools report that up to one-fifth of all employees are in forced self-isolation. Trade unions say that the situation is getting out of control and a new quarantine may happen “in fact”.

740 public schools in England have been partially or completely closed due to anti-coronavirus measures just two weeks after the start of the school year, according to the Guardian. As a result, tens of thousands of students stay at home, and their parents cannot go to work.

Moreover, in private schools that are willing to pay £120 for testing for coronavirus, there is no problem with this. “If schools are ready to take the blow, private companies will provide tests without problems,” — quoted by the publication of a teacher at one of Guildford's private schools.

The British government has responded to the education crisis by launching a hotline to report coronavirus cases and receive advice, but school staff cannot reach this number for hours and days.

Another problem is the payment of teachers who replace quarantined staff. According to Mustafa Malik, headmaster of a school in Gateshead and chairman of the Gateshead Association of Elementary School Principals, this is a matter of concern for parents.

“Parents are feeling growing anxiety. It took a long time to convince them that it was safe, but fears are starting to grow in some communities, ”he said.

The publication notes that according to a survey of 6,700 teachers in England using the Teacher Tapp app, it was found that 4% of teachers are currently in quarantine. If we extrapolate the data to the whole country, we get 25 thousand teachers.

According to Rebecca Allen, professor of education at the University of Brighton, the government should prioritize testing teachers for coronavirus and help schools financially to prevent schools from closing.

Currently, school directors have written a letter to the Prime Minister asking him to take personal control of the situation with the education crisis and resolve the problem with testing teachers for coronavirus.

We will remind, in neighboring Ireland, the government announced its intention to leave educational institutions open even in the event of the worst-case scenario.

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