School protest in France: criticism of the corona rule chaos

Status: 01/13/2022 4:53 p.m.

France has seen one of the largest school protests in recent times: teachers, parents and opposition politicians took to the streets in several cities. The corona rules in schools are too chaotic for you.

In protest against the chaotic Corona policy in schools, teachers, parents and opposition politicians in France took to the streets. “Blanquer in quarantine” could be read on demonstrators’ posters addressed to Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer. Several opposition politicians called for his removal. In fact, the protocol for schools has been changed several times since the end of the Christmas break.

According to the union, every second elementary school in the country was closed. “The government announces rules without thinking about what it means in practice,” said Olivier Flipo, a school director in the department Val d’Oise north of Paris, the AFP news agency.

Almost all unions have allied themselves

About 75 percent of elementary school teachers took part in the strike, according to the union. The authorities, however, assume around 39 percent. In contrast to previous teachers’ strikes, this time almost all unions had allied themselves. They were also supported by associations of parents’ representatives and school principals.

Several opposition politicians expressed their solidarity with the strikers.

Last minute information

Many school principals and teachers complain that they are only notified of the changes at the last minute. Education Minister Blanquer initially announced the decision to refrain from closing classes even in several positive cases in a newspaper interview on the last day of the holiday, which was provided with a payment barrier on the Internet.

There was also a lot of criticism when parents of school children had been fetched from work in a row during the day to have their children tested in a pharmacy – which was often only possible with long waiting times. With a negative test, the children were then allowed back to school. From Friday, self-tests and a written declaration from parents about the test result should be sufficient.

In contrast to Germany, France has never introduced regular tests for schoolchildren. The use of FFP2 masks for teachers or air filters for classrooms is rarely discussed in public.

“Our main concern is that the schools remain open,” says the education minister, who often emphasizes that schools did not play a special role in the spread of the virus. He also keeps pointing out that France is the country that has had the least number of schools closed since the beginning of the pandemic.

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