It is the headache of the moment in the rectorships. How to replace the many teachers absent due to the resurgence of the Covid-19 epidemic? The ministry counted about 8% (or more than 68,000 teachers) the first week of January and expects a peak of 15% of absence. Non-replacements lead to class closures in the first degree and participate in the general disorganization in schools.
Jean-Michel Blanquer however minimized this problem during the program “Les 4 Vérités” on France 2, Monday January 10: “Our main problem last week was not with the absent teachers (…) but on the side of queues in front of pharmacies ” to have the children tested. Six thousand replacement positions have been released, primarily in the first degree, he assured. Additional resources which are still not very visible on the ground, in the opinion of the various unions.
“All the levers are mobilized”, we assure the ministry. And to include, among other solutions, the suspension of continuing training to avoid generating absences, the lowering of the level of recruitment from bac + 3 to bac + 2, the adjustment of remuneration in certain disciplines which are experiencing a skills shortage, the appeal to young retirees … Digital technology is also called to the rescue with the educational resources of the National Center for Distance Learning. Since the 1er January, education assistants can work paid overtime to tutor these digital activities. The Ministry of National Education is also highlighting the Andjaro application, currently being tested in sixteen departments, to optimize the management of replacements.
“They don’t want to pile up again”
In the Grenoble academy, 52 contract workers were recruited in one week through a multiplicity of channels. A call was launched on social networks with a form to fill out to apply. Students from the National Higher Institute for Teaching and Education were called in as reinforcements, as were part-time teachers. Another avenue explored: a telephone campaign is underway to mobilize the 1,700 teachers who have retired for less than two years. Thirty have given their consent for the moment. “The most complicated thing is to match supply to demand in all territories”, underlines the rector, Hélène Insel. The rectorate also calls on retired administrative executives to coordinate these various actions.
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