Flexion, extension: Blanquer’s funny workout in a schoolyard

The image made many Internet users smile. Jean-Michel Blanquer took part in a physical education class with young children in order to promote sports practice in schools, during a visit to a Parisian school, this Tuesday, February 2.

“Schools must remain open except in the event of strict confinement”

Alongside the children and Tony Estanguet, president of the organizing committee for the 2024 Olympic Games, the Minister of National Education participated in a boxing warm-up. We can guess from the images below that he is not a big athlete.

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He also specified the new measures concerning the health protocol in schools. A hardening that comes in the midst of a debate on the issue of opening schools in the event of reconfinement.

The positive screening of a single kindergarten student for Covid-19 will now be enough to cause the closure of his class, according to the latest protocol published by the Ministry of Education. “The appearance of a confirmed case among the pupils implies that the other pupils of the class are identified as contacts at risk”, underlines the ministry in its “frequently asked questions” update Monday.

The threat of variants

This measure was decided after the appearance of variants of Covid-19 considered to be more contagious. Concretely, all students in the class will be asked to “Stay at home for seven days”, which amounts to a closure of the class over the period, the ministry was told.

On the other hand, the appearance of a confirmed case among teachers, since he wears a category 1 general public mask such as those provided by the Ministry of Education, does not imply that the pupils of the class are considered as risk contacts, it is specified.

Confining only the elderly? A damn bad idea

Likewise, the appearance of a confirmed case among the students does not imply that the staff are identified as risk contacts, as long as the latter wear a category 1 general public mask or a surgical mask. The first primary union, Snuipp-FSU, reacted:

“If this measure finally makes it possible to consider cases of contamination in nursery schools, the implementation in the field will require joint monitoring by health and academic authorities for it to be effective. “

The tests are indeed less frequent and more complex to perform on young children.

In primary and secondary schools, wearing a mask being compulsory, the appearance of a confirmed case among teachers or students does not automatically lead to risky contacts in the classroom.

Unless it is established that it is one of the variants: in this case, the concerned class will now be closed after a single case. Until now, it took three infected people to decide to close a class.

“No more closed classes”

This hardening of the protocol “Will probably lead to more closed classes”, acknowledged the Minister of Education Jean-Michel Blanquer, during a trip to Paris on the occasion of the 5e edition of Olympic and Paralympic Week. “We know how to break the chains of contamination, we will continue”, he added.

According to the last count published on Friday, the ministry reported 96 establishments out of 61,500 (+32 compared to the previous week) and 444 classes closed (+73) due to the epidemic.

Another change: in accordance with what had been announced, the protocol in the canteen is reinforced. A distance of 2 meters between groups of students is now required, against 1 meter previously.

Asked about the school vacation schedule, Mr. Blanquer said that“At this stage, it is maintained”. “As you know on this subject things can always change”, he added. But “Our objective is to maintain the rhythm of the children, this stability is good for them”.

The fact of having kept the schools open unlike other neighboring countries is “A French collective success”, he also boasted, judging that “School is the element of optimism to get through the crisis”.

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