Tens of thousands of staff at French schools stage nationwide protests against government’s Covid-19 policies
Teachers, administrators and school staff in France refused to go to work on Thursday, asking the government to review its Covid-19 pandemic policy, which they say is incoherent and fails to protect students and staff.
The government has angered education professionals by repeatedly changing schools’ policies in response to the coronavirus pandemic. New Covid testing rules for schools were announced by the government ahead of students returning to classes from the Christmas break, which have since been changed twice.
“We have reached a point where we are so angry, tired and angry that we have no choice but to organize a strike to send a strong message to the government,” said Elisabeth Allain-Moreno, national secretary of the SE-UNSA teachers’ union.
Some schools in Paris were completely closed due to the strike, while others were only open to children of essential workers.
When asked what they thought of the strike, one parent expressed support, saying they “understand” Why teachers take this step “Because the protocol cannot be applied” As the government changed its approach.
The teaching union expects 75 percent of elementary school staff and 62 percent of high school teachers to take part in a one-day strike. The Department of Education claims actual turnout was lower, with only 38.5 percent of elementary school employees and 24 percent of high school employees on strike.
“I know it’s tough, but strikes don’t solve the problem. One won’t fight the virus,” he said. Education Minister Jean-Michel Blankel told BFM TV on Thursday.
The government initially implemented a policy of quickly closing classes that reported positive Covid cases, instead working to keep schools open as much as possible, even if it caused problems for staff.
“The entire education community is exhausted and angry at levels never seen before,” A joint statement from 11 education sector unions called on the government to address the issue “chaos” This leads to “An ever-changing foothold.”