It was one of the striking effects of the first confinement: the closure of schools. The government does not want to come to this again, as it indicated on Thursday by presenting new measures to contain the coronavirus epidemic.
“We are convinced that schools must be kept open. This is essential when we measure the advantages and disadvantages ”, declared the Minister of National Education, Jean-Michel Blanquer. But if “the circulation of the virus remains relatively under control”, new restrictions will come into force, in particular to stem the arrival of the British variant, which could more affect the youngest.
Screw turn in the canteen
First, the hybrid formula, which allows an alternation between face-to-face and distance learning for lessons, is maintained in high schools beyond January 20, said the minister. By adding that “vigilance” will be brought to final year students, who must be given priority to go to classes. For the college, the hybrid mode will be possible on a “case by case” basis, for 4th and 3rd year students.
Considered by the authorities as the “weak link” in the organization of the day for pupils, school canteens will see their rules reinforced. In primary school in particular, children in the same class will have to have lunch together every day of the week at the same table. Meal service hours will be extended, also indicated Jean-Michel Blanquer. And as a “last resort”, the take-out meal solution may be considered. We must act “on a case-by-case basis”, insisted the tenant of the rue de Grenelle.
More indoor sports activity
In addition, indoor sports activities, school and extracurricular, can no longer take place. They are suspended “for a few weeks probably”, according to Jean-Michel Blanquer.
Finally, on the issue of testing, the government wants to speed up. It aims for one million tests for students and staff in January. And “every time there will be three cases [dans un établissement], a screening team can come on site ”.