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Covid-19: the laborious beginnings of the high school self-test campaign

The department is careful not to release figures. It will be necessary, he said, to wait until the next weekly Covid situation update, scheduled for Friday, May 21, to have a precise idea of ​​the deployment of self-tests in high schools. But the entourage of Jean-Michel Blanquer makes little mystery, the implementation of this tool remains “Progressive”, nine days after the launch of a supposedly massive screening campaign.

→ READ. Self-tests greeted with skepticism in high schools

The government has promised all volunteer high school students the opportunity to test themselves once a week. But rare are those who have already been able to perform one of these antigenic tests, which must be carried out under the supervision of a “supervisor”, in a room provided for this purpose.

A time-consuming device

Delay in the arrival of the kits, hiccups in some instructions and above all lack of staff … “In my school, the tests arrived in the course of the last week but none have yet been used”, testifies Agnès Andersen, principal in Strasbourg and deputy general secretary of the union of heads of establishments Independence and Direction. “If our 1,200 students were all to test themselves, we would have to carry out these screenings over lesson times, already very short to respect the 50% gauge. “

This principal was able to recruit one of the 2,500 additional mediators recently promised by the ministry. A young person who will be in post as of Thursday, May 20. In spite of everything, the parents’ authorizations will still have to be obtained … “For now, we have barely 15% of positive responses from them”, she slips.

As a whole, the principals, on the front line for a year in the face of the health crisis, do not seem in any hurry to deploy this campaign. In the public as in the private. ” Under current conditions, a majority of high schools in our network will not pass the self-tests ”, thus warned in The cross, on the eve of the launch of the campaign, Arnaud Patural, vice-president of SNCEEL, the main organization of heads of private establishments.

“Lower the sanitary pressure”

“We can understand the weariness of school leaders and the difficulties in implementing this campaign, but self-tests can help reduce health pressure”, reacts Philippe Delorme, the general secretary of Catholic education. “They are a counterpart to the reopening of high schools on May 3”, he insists. Also, on Wednesday May 19, Philippe Delorme sent a letter to the diocesan directors, so that “Everyone, beyond the difficulties and reprobations, assumes their responsibilities to the end and continues to make their contribution to the collective fight against this virus”.

Recently received by the ministry, SNCEEL insists on the willingness of school principals to play the role of “Facilitators”. Provided that the self-test campaign is implemented “By trained staff recruited by the rectorates”. What, here and there, begins to organize.

“Let us carry out the tests as far as possible, according to the availability of each one”, soberly loose Benoît Van Nedervelde, the president of the Synadic, another organization of heads of private establishments. “Knowing that it will be difficult to organize a screening every week where a large part of the students are voluntary. “

Self-tests still useful for the start of the September school year?

Taking note of the laborious beginnings of this campaign, the government seems ready to accept an almost unanimous demand from school heads: to allow high school students to use self-tests at home, under the supervision of their parents. “The idea is that they learn to make them in their establishment, before using them at home”, now ensures the ministry.

The large weekly screening operation in establishments (with the distribution of 60 million tests by June) seems to be fading away. Especially since the bac philosophy test is scheduled for June 17. And that classes will have to be stopped a week before as a preventive quarantine … “This work is not lost”, assures the ministry, which has just launched a campaign on social networks to extol the device. “Because the virus will undoubtedly still be there at the start of the school year. The self-tests will unfortunately retain their usefulness. “


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