August 2, 2021

After fifteen months of health crisis, the school is preparing for the after

Life before is slowly picking up in society… and in schools, too. Since June 9, we can again organize “Open days” and fairs, “While respecting barrier gestures”. On June 20, the return of green classes will follow, even if a number of teachers, cautious, confide that a few weeks of summer vacation they will not change anything on the “calendar”.

Fifteen months of health crisis which have just passed, they have acquired a conviction: the school has served – and will continue to serve – as a “laboratory”. Containment laboratory when, on March 12, 2020, the Head of State, Emmanuel Macron, announced the closure of all establishments, from nursery to high school, a few days before the shutdown of the rest of the company. Laboratory of deconfinement, when, on May 11, 2020, teleworking remained the rule for parents, but “face-to-face” classes resumed for their children.

Laboratory, also, of the experimentation of the famous barrier gestures, starting with the wearing of the extended mask, in November, for schoolchildren from 6 years old. Finally, a laboratory for sustained community life “Whatever he [leur] in cost “, say the teachers: there were still nearly a thousand staff and 11,300 students declared positive for Covid-19 on Friday June 4, date of the last census. They were respectively nearly 2,800 and 29,000 at the start of April.

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And after ? In September, will the school also be able to be this laboratory of a ” back to normal ” that everyone hopes? From Paris to Lyon via the Grand-Est, the same demand goes up from establishments: “Think back to school. ” The clock is ticking: before the bell marking the end of the year rings, for all, on July 6, teachers and parents want to be able ” to anticipate “.

Feeling of “bitterness”

If, at the Ministry of Education, we recognize that the back-to-school circular is not ready, in the field, we have taken the lead and gathered the questions. Should we keep the mask, even though it is the first thing we would be tempted to remove? In classrooms, with rising temperatures, teachers are already seeing them “Slip under the chin”. Some are alarmed by it; others got used to it.

“There is currently no scientific reason to keep the mask for children under 11”, explain to World Christèle Gras-Le Guen, President of the French Pediatric Society. On this subject, as on the exact contribution of children in the spread of the virus, the divisions between pediatricians and epidemiologists have not escaped the professors. “We have heard too many contradictory speeches to be able to form an opinion”, loose Stéphane Rio, history and geography teacher in high school in Marseille.

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