The Prime Minister presented the deconfinement plan to the deputies on Tuesday. Six themes were discussed, including the methods of returning to school.
It is one of the points of tension which surrounds the deconfinement: the return of more than twelve million pupils on the benches of the school as from May 11 and the fear, consequently, of a new wave of Covid-19 infection due to promiscuity and difficult monitoring of “barrier gestures”.
Hearing this Tuesday 28th April 2020 in the National Assembly, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe specified the terms of this return to schools, colleges, high schools and universities.
Schools will gradually reopen from May 11th, on a voluntary basis, confirmed the head of government. Here is the detail of what he announced.
- The gradual reopening of kindergartens and elementary schools on May 11th
The smallest will be the first to return to school, from the first day of deconfinement, said Edouard Philippe:
The return of our children is an educational and social justice imperative. We are proposing a very gradual reopening of kindergartens and elementary schools from May 11, everywhere on the territory and on a voluntary basis.
- The colleges in a second step
The reopening of the colleges will come in a second step, starting with the fifth and sixth.
- The decision on high schools at the end of May
Finally, “we will decide in late May if we can reopen the high school students, starting in early June with vocational high schools,” said Edouard Philippe.
- No more than 15 students per class
Return to class must be done in “strict compliance with health measures”, with no more than 15 students at a time per class.
Masks for teachers and college students
- Masks for teachers and middle school students
All teachers will receive masks which they must wear when they cannot respect barrier gestures and physical distance.
Regarding masks for children, the government ensures to follow the recommendations of scientists. Thus, the mask is “prohibited” for kindergarten students; “Not recommended” for primary school pupils but pediatric masks will be made available if necessary; wearing a mask will be compulsory for middle school students, it will be provided to them.
- Continuity of distance education
For all those who cannot return to class from May 11th, distance education will continue.
The child care is going to reopen
- Child care centres reopen on May 11th
The crèches will be able to reopen as of May 11th, but the reception will be limited to groups of ten children. Children of caregivers and teachers should be given priority. Wearing a mask will be compulsory for early childhood professionals “since the rules of physical distance cannot be applied to it”.