Lack of structured screening for all schools
There are current practices to implement a medical screening targeting each school and selecting a few students to collect a decent sample size that can reflect the status of spreading all over the country, when we are having a sample from each school will give the health specialist the ability to detect potential disease indicators, but will not prevent the spreading of the virus day by day for each school, it will only support the decision making, on the other hand, screening all students will give more tangible results and can control the spreading, nevertheless, we can’t take a sample from all students every day.
Not providing enough field team to do testing
To consider screening as a first method will lead to having a huge team that needs to cover all schools across the country which will lead to not covering all schools for each round of testing. Another challenge of such practice is to reach the school end of the day, so if any student has a positive result that means he will risk the school and the class being infected, and conducting the test during the morning hours of the day will increase the difficulty of providing enough people.
Lack of utilization from technology and the digital world
In some countries, the manual process of collecting student and school information moving to test procedure and communicating the result to school and authorities take a lot of time leading to delay in implementing the right action with the student after testing, not to mention, the difficult data collection and reporting to decision-makers.
How can we use the technology to support controlling the spread of the virus in schools?
- New methods need to come like a daily health check survey from homeroom teachers as the first step in every school morning, so the normal screening will target the students who have symptoms or potential to be infected
- Using digital forms to communicate details of any student that has symptoms to the right authority
- Adding the school, area structure, and student information in advance to a digital platform can save time and provide more data accuracy
- Utilizing technology and implementing a mobile app for the field teams to speed up the transmission of information to labs and authorities
- Immediate notification of the result with effective communication to different authorities at the same time like School management, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, Crisis Management Team, and Parents
- Instant dashboard and reporting system to decision-makers to support controlling the pandemic in schools