French teachers strike over chaotic COVID-19 strategy for schools

Tens of thousands walked off the job on Thursday over what they say is the government's failure to adopt a coherent policy for schools to manage the COVID-19 pandemic.
By: | January 13, 2022

Tens of thousands of French teachers walked off the job on Thursday over what they say is the government’s failure to adopt a coherent policy for schools to manage the COVID-19 pandemic and protect pupils and staff against infection.

Teachers, parents, and school administrators have struggled to deal with the pandemic and the government’s twist and turns on COVID-19 rules at school. New testing requirements were announced on the eve of the return from Christmas holidays and changed twice since.

“We had reached such a level of exasperation, tiredness, and anger that we didn’t have any other option but to organise a strike to send a strong message to the government,” said Elisabeth Allain-Moreno, national secretary of the SE-UNSA teachers union.

Schools in Paris and beyond offered a mixed picture on Thursday morning, with some entirely closed because of the strike, some partly open and others operating normally. Some were open only for children of health workers.

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