According to national education estimates, nearly 9% of school teachers were on strike in primary school and just over 10% of secondary school teachers on Tuesday, November 10. Relatively low figures, totally contested by the inter-union organizations (FSU, FO, CGT, SUD and SNCL-FAEN) which had called for stopping work.
“It’s a real scandal of state”, chokes Grégory Thuizat, departmental secretary of Snes (FSU, majority) in Seine-Saint-Denis where, according to him, half of secondary teachers have followed the call. In this poor department where school conditions are normally already difficult, the consequences of the Covid-19 epidemic are particularly strong.
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Due to a lack of personnel, the hygienic and sanitary situation is very degraded. “Can you imagine the time it takes to clean all the door handles? asks the teacher. The already few staff are lacking and are not replaced ”.
Colleges consider themselves wronged
Several establishments in the Ile-de-France department where teachers have asserted their rights have been closed in recent days and, even before November 10, teachers were already on strike.
“Anger is particularly strong in colleges where colleagues feel they have not achieved anything »Explains Grégory Thuizat.
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Faced with the growing discontent, Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer announced last week new measures to limit the risks of contamination in high schools, by authorizing more distance learning courses, on condition of keeping at least 50% of teaching in face-to-face for each student.
For the FSU, 45% of strikers in college, 20% in primary
Colleges have since felt aggrieved while the concentration of students in buildings, especially in the canteen, is just as problematic. According to Snes, the strike rate reached 45% nationally on Tuesday.
Organizations believe in particular that the “Current situation requires the massive and urgent presence of staff in schools, colleges, high schools”. The government’s goal is for schools to remain open until June 2021. “But without additional resources, how to ensure non-mixing, distance, downsizing? “ explains to AFP Guislaine David, the general secretary of Snuipp-FSU which announces a rate of 20% striker in primary.
“It is urgent to get around the table with the ministry to find solutions for accommodating students such as gymnasiums in order to set up half-groups, which will allow us to stay the course”, continues the union official.
“We will be forced to close in two weeks”
In Seine-Saint-Denis where the movement is strong, Grégory Thuizat denounces the lack of anticipation of the government. “We are going on strike to keep the establishments open, because we know the dramatic consequences that a new closure like in the spring would have. But the authorities hide the reality of the contaminations of students or teachers and know very well that as it is started, we will be forced to close in two weeks. “
From next week, the Ministry of Health will make available to schools a million antigenic tests for staff, we learned Monday from the Ministry of National Education.
5 to 10% of students on campus
The school situation contrasts in any case with that in the universities which are almost completely closed. The government announces that the presence of students on campus has reduced to 5 to 10%.
During a communication in the Council of Ministers, the Minister of Higher Education Frédérique Vidal recalled that “The establishments have also grouped together over a reduced period of the week the face-to-face teaching sessions to be followed by the same student, in order to minimize their travel “. The minister also specified that 80 university libraries out of 90 remain open to students, by reservation.
The government is working with establishments on social and psychological support. “The level of demand from students remains high and sustained” observes the minister. The grants based on social criteria have been upgraded and the implementation of the exceptional aid of 150 € announced by the President of the Republic on October 14 will be paid in December.