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ART routine part of school safety

Adib Noor & Daniel Lim

Antigen rapid testing (ART) is now part of the student routines as schools implement safety measures outlined by the government.

The initial twice-a-week COVID-19 screening has been increased to three times a week, following the announcement that students will return to face-to-face schooling regardless of vaccination status, starting yesterday for most students and May 14 for children aged five- to 11.

“This time around the Ministry of Education with advice from the Ministry of Health has enhanced the standard operating procedures (SOPs) with the introduction of mandatory ART screening three times a week for students,” said Katok Secondary School Deputy Principal Norahtina Seriyati binti Haji Omar who was on hand to ensure SOPs were followed during the admission of students yesterday.

The deputy principal said students were told to conduct their screening at home before Sahur and present their results to teachers on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

With the recent announcement that any student regardless of their vaccination status is now allowed to enter educational institutions, the secondary school is also receiving more Year 7 students, she said.

ABOVE & BELOW: Photos show students getting back to in-person learning. PHOTOS: ADIB NOOR & DANIEL LIM

Students at a computer science class

For Pengiran Anak Puteri Hajah Rashidah Sa’adatul Bolkiah Secondary School in Belait District, students report in on Sunday nights, Wednesday nights, and Friday nights, according to Acting Principal Haji Kamal Bahrin bin Haji Jamal.

“The results of the ART are forwarded to the head teacher of the student’s class,” he said, adding that the time to test will also accommodate public holidays.

“For example, if the Monday before was a public holiday, the test will be conducted on Monday night prior to the students attending school,” he said.

In addition to testing, students attend classes and laboratories while observing SOPs, such as wearing face masks and social distancing.

In the month of Ramadhan, students will attend school from 8am to 11.50am.