SCHOOL – Go on strike against a virus or against a government? The Minister of National Education, Jean-Michel Blanquer, called on Tuesday January 11 for “the unity of the Nation around his school”, two days before a call for a strike by teachers which promises to be very followed, arguing that “we do not go on strike against a virus”. Words that did not fail to add fuel to the fire on an already tense situation.
“I know thatthere is a lot of fatigue, a lot of nervousness, so I appeal to both the coolness, the unity of the Nation around its school, not to confuse the subjects, we are in a presidential campaign, some opponents are trying to make it a theme ” , regretted the minister on BFMTV.
All the representative unions called for a strike in National Education this Thursday, January 13, denouncing “An indescribable mess” in schools because of the protocol Covid-19 put in place and “a strong feeling of abandonment and anger among the staff”.
For Jean-Michel Blanquer, “it’s a shame to have a day that will further disrupt the system,” he said. “There are problems, I am the first to admit it, it is difficult but it is difficult in all countries”. “As I express the hope that this is our last wave, it would be a shame to split in this final stretch which is very hard, very complicated for all actors“, he added. “It is not a strike that solves the problems, we do not strike against a virus,” he said.
“We are on strike so that he can do his job”
A statement which, far from calming the spirits, reinforced unions and teachers in the idea of maintaining the mobilization of Thursday. “No, Minister, 80% of colleagues from Seine-Saint-Denis are not on strike against a virus but against your contempt. In the department of Seine-Saint-Denis, more than one in two schools will be closed this Thursday, January 13, ”replied the SNUipp-FSU, the first primary union, in a press release.
“For 2 years now, we have been calling for protective measures (CO2 sensors, surgical masks, FFP2 masks, air purifier, etc.), additional staff, to help teachers exercise their profession. The ministry’s response has been unpreparedness, contempt and inadequate and incessant protocols, increasingly lightened allowing the virus to circulate in schools. The staff mobilized, supported by the parents of the students, expect immediate responses to secure the schools ”.
“It’s a shame that there is a minister who further disrupts the system (…) We are going on strike against him,” retorted the FSU30 union on its Twitter account.
“Half of the schools closed on Thursday”
“We will be on strike massively on January 13 for the respect of staff and families, claiming the human and material resources to secure the school system and teach in dignified conditions”, she explains, the CNT-SO Federation of Workers of the ‘Education.
“Just for that, I’ll be on strike,” reacts a professor back on Twitter.
The teachers’ union Unsa did not like this exit of the minister either: “Indeed, one does not strike against a virus … even if it was called #Lank We are going on strike so that he can do his job ”.
“That’s good because those who will demonstrate Thursday will do so against the methodical destruction of National Education”, adds this professor of history-geography-secularism.
“It’s a shame to have a minister who shows so much contempt,” regrets this German professor from SNES-FSU.
The Snuipp-FSU, the first primary union, predicted on Tuesday that 75% of primary school teachers would be on strike and that half of the schools would be closed on Thursday.
Macron acknowledges the “weariness” of parents and teachers, but persists
For his part, Emmanuel Macron recognized this Tuesday “the weariness” of teachers and parents of students in the face of successive health protocols in schools, but asked for “patience” while again defending his choice to leave schools open .
“I fundamentally believe that the choice we made to keep the school open is the right choice,” he said during a press briefing with European Council President Charles Michel. “I think we all have to arm ourselves with a little patience, kindness, adjust things with pragmatism,” he continued.
Monday evening, Prime Minister Jean Castex announced a relaxation of the health protocol in the face of the Covid epidemic in schools and the risk of mayhem. Jean-Michel Blanquer sees in this “adaptation” of the protocol a way of “simplifying the life of families but also the life of teachers and school directors, mainly in primary school”.
The idea is “to make life easier for everyone, families, to avoid queues at the pharmacy, and primary school administrators who are very concerned (…), while maintaining a requirement on the subject tests. It is therefore a responsibility of everyone, for the lowest possible constraints, ”he said.
The minister reported 10,000 classes closed Monday evening, or 2% of primary classes, and 50,000 cumulative positive cases, out of 12 million students.
See also on The HuffPost: How to properly use a self-test?