Minister of Education Slob has adopted the OMT advice about primary school pupils with a snot nose. The advice states that children between the ages of 4 and 12 are not allowed to go to school from Monday if they have a cold.
The OMT also wants children with a cold to be tested. With a negative test, they can go back to school. If they do not get tested, they can go back to school if they are free of symptoms for 24 hours or if their symptoms are still mild after seven days. Children under the age of 4 are allowed to go to daycare with a snot nose and do not need to be tested.
The interest group Voor Werkende Ouders, which claims to represent more than 15,000 parents, is pleased that the rules for the youngest children have not been tightened. The organization is critical about the new policy for primary school students.
"This tightening will ensure that many children will still be at home, without home education. This will create a gap in the knowledge of children," Voor Werkende Ouders writes in a statement. Many parents would also object to having their child tested, with the result that those children remain at home longer.
Employers are also affected, says the organization. Parents are less able to work at home when their child is also at home and people in critical professions, such as teachers, nurses and police officers, cannot work at all. Voor Werkende Parents also fears discussions between parents and teachers about whether a child can go to school.
We at Medyc have our doubts about these complicated regulations. Parents have their hands in their hair. Child has a cold, finds a nose test too painful and risky and cannot go to work.
There is a simple test that largely reduces the problem with this new measure for primary education.
Other countries, such as our neighboring country Belgium, have been using this test method for some time in education. Children are tested preventively or in case of complaints.
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