Teachers in France strike demanding better management of COVID-19 Protocols in schools

Photo: Bob Edme/AP


A nationwide strike took place in schools across France on Thursday as teachers and other school staff demonstrated against the government’s management of COVID-19 protocols in schools.

Teachers, other school staff, and parents in the country have been complaining for months, saying the health protocols in schools are confusing and continually changing. The government changed the rules twice for schools in the past week.

They have argued that they are facing the crisis with inapplicable measures, a growing work overload, teachers not being replaced when sick, no additional resources or staff to alleviate the issues, and a lack of transparency from the education minister.

Teachers’ unions had called for a walkout to denounce the “indescribable mess” in schools as COVID-19 cases have surged and pharmacies have reported shortages of self-test kits since the beginning of the year.

The primary school teachers’ union, SNUipp-FSU, has announced an estimated 75% participation rate among their ranks, and the secondary school union, SNES-FSU, said 62% mobilized. However, the Ministry of National Education claimed that 38.5% of primary school teachers and 23.7% of secondary school teachers participated.

“The teachers express their anger at this minister who does not hear them, who does not listen to what’s going on in the field, who does not listen to the distress present in schools and to all the possible dysfunctions, and above all a minister who addresses the press first before addressing the students, “a SNUipp-FSU representative told ABC News. “And so, the teachers are very angry”

"Nothing is put in place because the means are not there, and there are no substitute teachers," Belahcen told ABC News, adding that she is also concerned about exams occurring this year. "All this means that the parents are still very, very worried for the future of their children, for the well-being of their children, and above all, we cannot take this situation any longer."

There has been a similar dispute over health and safety in schools in the United States. After five days of canceled classes, the Chicago Teachers Union voted, with 56% in favor to approve the COVID-19 agreement with Chicago Public Schools which included expanded testing, masks, and plans to shut down schools during the outbreaks.

Thursday’s strike was a “historic mobilization” for France, according to SNUipp-FSU, considering the number of strikers, the unity between teachers’ unions, and the fact that the FCPE participated as well.


Publish : 2022-01-15 09:35:00

Give Your Comments