Tests, street masks, sports activities… Jean-Michel Blanquer’s announcements about the new school protocol

Parents, teachers and school principals will be able to prepare for the new sanitary protocol in schools. Jean-Michel Blanquer, criticized for his often belated statements, rectified the situation by announcing to school academies and educational institutions this Friday the new measures to combat the coronavirus pandemic in schools, ten days before the premiere. holidays (for zone B). The announcements follow a tripartite meeting with the Ministry of Health and teacher unions last Tuesday.

As the epidemic situation improved in the territory, as in schools, some restrictions were expected to be eased. Indeed, class closures due to Covid-19 cases are declining, according to ministry figures released on Friday, with only 0.05% of schools and 2% of classrooms closed. “The hardest part is behind us,” the education minister said on Friday.

Health protocol moves to level 2

Since the beginning of the week, the pipes have finally recorded the transition of the sanitary protocol from level 3 to level 2 in French schools. The latter includes removing the mask outdoors, especially in playgrounds, for students and supervisors, limiting mixing by levels, in particular during recovery, and returning indoor sports with a mask, “keeping distance: therefore, contact sports are not allowed without a mask, ”the ministry said in a statement. These new measures will come into effect when each zone returns from winter break: February 21 for Zone B, February 28 for Zone 1, and March 7 for Zone C.

Optimized self-tests

In order to close ever fewer classrooms and schools, the Minister of National Education announced the abolition of two of the three mandatory self-tests in the event of a positive case of Covid-19 in the classroom from February 28. You no longer need to test your child for D0 and D+4, but only for D+2. This change will also affect educators. Because, according to Jean-Michel Blanc, it is with D + 2 that it is “most effective,” he explained to the press from the ministry court.

In addition, “Sworn official guardians of students certifying completion of tests will no longer be required to admit students to schools. This simplification measure will be applied from the beginning of the academic year on February 21, ”the ministry further clarifies. “We will be in a system of trust,” commented Jean-Michel Blanquer.

This provision was in fact little understood by teachers and parents, who demanded a clearer device. “What is it really for? Sophie Venetitai, SNES-FSU assistant secretary and SES high school teacher, wondered about this sworn statement, the results of which are unverifiable.

Shortened protocol too early?

The risk lies in the lifting of some restrictions too early, in particular masks on the street in schools. Yves Buisson, epidemiologist and president of the Covid-19 group at the Medical Academy, “is not convinced that wearing a mask should be taken off on the street. On the playgrounds, we are more in close contact than in the classroom, even if it happens on the street. This is different from everyday life, on the street we do not blow a kiss to everyone, we naturally keep our distance. »

Even unions prefer stability in measures rather than one step forward and three steps back. According to Stefan Krosche, Secretary General of SE-UNSA, a “multiplication of orders and counter orders in the coming weeks” should be avoided, as was the case between October and November, when the wearing of a mask was abandoned, before being reinstated a few weeks later due to the epidemic situation in country.