Paris: French teachers came out on the streets on Thursday, January 13, 2022, in outrage against the way the government is handling the situation of the Covid-19 pandemic in schools.
The union of teachers in France held a nationwide strike to protest virus-linked class disruptions and ever-changing quarantining and Covid-19 protocols, closing hundreds of primary schools in France.
Further, tens of thousands of French teachers joined the protests. A total of 75 percent of teachers took part in the demonstration alongside 62 percent of secondary teachers from the entire country, the reports stated.
Many teachers and other school staff joined the march started from Paris to the office of the education ministry, while others protested in other towns of the country.
France is the epicentre of Europe, which is at present facing a massive soar in the daily Covid-19 infections. Recently, it recorded 360,000 infections of the coronavirus, which is the so far highest toll. The cases of new variants are also being recorded in France.
While acknowledging the issue of teachers, Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer cited, “The month of January is very challenging and strenuous for schools and teachers. Teachers are upsets, and they want clarification on the new rules and more protections such as extra masks, regular tests that could protect them from the Covid-19 pandemic”.
Moreover, Prime Minister of France Jean Castex announced that he would meet the representative of the teachers’ union to calm their anger and urge them to stop the strike.
By highlighting the reason behind the demonstration, Elisabeth Allain-Moreno, national secretary of the SE-Unisa teachers‘ union, noted,” We had controlled our anger earlier, but now the situation is getting worst, and we could not handle it in the zone of danger and fear. We can’t study students by putting their and our lives in danger. So, organising the strike was the last option left behind for us as through this we can send a strong message to the government”.
Laurent Berger, secretary-general of the CFDT union, said: “This strike is not against the deadly virus, but against the way the government is implementing their strategies for the education sector. He said that teachers had been treated like disdain only informed of changing rules of the Covid-19 pandemic but did not discuss anything. So, this protest is against the lack of consultation shown by the government.
Moreover, as per the health ministry report, a total of 50,000 new cases of the Covid-19 virus have emerged among the students in recent days, due to which a total of 10,553 classes have been shut down. It has also been estimated that the figure will get more worst in the upcoming days.
Since January 6, two changes have been imposed in the testing requirement of students as it has been said that students can do self-tests three-time and further, they don’t show the negative report of a standard PCR test of Covid-19 virus.
Further, the French teachers union asserted that since the schools have started, it has created a lot of mess which pushed the anger and frustration among the staff of the education sector.