NEWS

Foreign students promised temporary social security number ahead of school reopening

foreign-students-promised-temporary-social-security-number-ahead-of-school-reopening

Students who are foreign nationals will be issued a provisional social security identification number (AMKA) so they can buy a self-testing kit ahead of the reopening of schools on Monday, a senior official of the Education Ministry told Kathimerini on Thursday, responding to complaints from private schools that several pupils do not have access to the tests.

Students and teachers returning to school will be required to use the kits for self-administered coronavirus tests — which begun arriving in Greek pharmacies on Wednesday — twice weekly, as part of efforts to tackle a surge of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations. 

Each person is entitled to one free of charge per week which can be acquired by presenting an AMKA number.

However, several private schools have informed the ministry that some of their students are foreign nationals – children of embassy employees or students whose families have settled in the country through the golden visa program – and do not have an AMKA or a tax identification number (AFM). In some cases, their parents also lack a Taxisnet code to register the results of the self-test, as required by the ministry.

Private schools have also pointed out that administrative and other staff, such as school bus drivers, caretakers and cleaners will also need to be tested.

The question remained as to how the ministry would solve the temporary AMKA conundrum given that schools open in four days.