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Covid-19: maintenance of face-to-face exams in universities

While the Covid-19 contamination figures are reaching records, the government is staying the course with regard to end-of-semester exams and partial which, at the university, continue in January: they will be “Kept in person”, said Frédérique Vidal, on France Info, Wednesday, December 29.

Objective of the Minister of Higher Education: to avoid the difficulties encountered last year, in particular “In terms of connection”, when the evaluations – in 60% of cases – had to be carried out remotely. She also argues that “Nearly 92%” of students are vaccinated.

For those absent, a substitution session

In a circular, the ministry specifies the procedure to be followed with regard to candidates in quarantine: “For the students thus subjected to isolation and who would then be unable to participate in one or more tests, you will take care to organize a replacement session. “

“A student who tested positive in January could thus take his tests during an bis session, organized within two months of the initial date”, illustrious Virginie Dupont, vice-president of the Conference of University Presidents.

“Be careful, however, not to present this measure as a solution to possible marginal situations: if we do not systematically announce the holding of a second session for each examination, some will prefer to present themselves ill rather than not validate their semester “, warns Mélanie Luce, president of UNEF.

An investigation carried out by this union at the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne shows that 800 of the 5,000 students have declared themselves positive for Covid-19 and 2,250 are contact cases. “The bursts of contamination would then lead us to a new shift towards distance education, catastrophic both from an academic and psychological point of view”, warns Mélanie Luce.

What about contact cases?

One of the questions concerns contact cases. Will they be allowed to go to the exams? “Until now, this was the case, except for risky contact cases, such as the unvaccinated”, recalls Virginie Dupont. The circular refers to subsequent decisions.

The government is preparing to ease the isolation rules for the entire population. He wants to prevent the multiplication of contact cases under the effect of Omicron from leading to paralysis of the country. “We must be able to take into account the continuous assessment for candidates who could not attend any of the sessions”, argues Mélanie Luce.

→ EXPLANATION. Covid-19: facing Omicron, the isolation rules will evolve

Universities can in fact adapt the evaluation methods if necessary. But they must inform the candidates at least two weeks before. This delay does not allow them, for example, to switch to distancing the events scheduled for the very beginning of January.

In Aix-Marseille, two weeks of distance learning

Some have nevertheless made specific arrangements. Thus, Aix-Marseille has planned two weeks of distance learning, in order to free up rooms to take exams while respecting the rule of one student for three places.

→ TESTIMONIALS. “A second start”: at the university, the hope of an almost normal year

At the national level, for the moment, we are only banking on the cancellation of the greeting ceremonies and festive events during the month of January and on a relaunch of vaccination on campuses or via student slots in vaccinodromes to prevent re-entry and partial do not lead to chain contaminations.


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