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"Students, please take the self-test", says Minister of Education


The Ministry of Education wants students to help keep their lecturers, fellow students, friends, and family safe by frequently taking free self-tests before going to campus. After all, one can transmit the virus, even when they're not coughing or sneezing.

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The Dutch government has just launched a campaign to teach higher education students and employees to use the website, where they can order free self-tests for free.

Students will probably need more encouragement than employees. Some may not be aware that they need to order these tests themselves, while others seem to feel as though there is little incentive to actually use them.

Transmitting the virus
The Dutch Minister of Education, Ingrid van Engelshoven, stressed that students may transmit the coronavirus to others even when they're not feeling anything, as there are asymptomatic cases. That makes the self-tests even more important, she says.

“This way, students can play their part in combating the pandemic. This scheme will also help create more options for opening up education in the near future”, she explained.

Once the spread of the virus has been contained, students and lecturers will be able to meet each other on campus more often for seminars or lectures.

Half a billion
The self-test programme for higher education will cost the Dutch government approximately half a billion euros, including distribution. The standard measures currently in place, such as keeping a distance of 1.5 metres between yourself and others, will continue to apply. The self-tests are voluntary and nobody will be checking if you take them.

National student organisations ISO and LSVb don't think self-tests are necessary, as institutes of higher education are able to provide safe education on campus while respecting the existing guidelines. They see no reason to protest the decision, however, especially considering the fact that the government sees the distribution of self-tests as a viable step towards reopening campuses nationwide.

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