Protocol unchanged, schedule maintained: Jean-Michel Blanquer orchestrates a high-risk re-entry

The “Minister of Open Schools”: Jean-Michel Blanquer has never worn his nickname so well. While a section of the teaching staff and health professionals demanded not the closure of classes but a postponement of the start of the school year set for January 3, the time to see if the Omicron variant leads to this “Disorganization of society” mentioned by the scientific council, the government is closing ranks around the “Blanquer line” : “We will not postpone the start of the school year”, announced the Prime Minister, Jean Castex, on December 27, at the end of a marathon day punctuated by a council of ministers and a defense council, specifying that“There will be no distancing in middle and high schools”.

A point won for the good student of Macronie? The contaminations curves in schools will tell, over the next few days, if the calculation made is the right one… or not. But, on the school grounds, three days before the start of the school year deemed to be at risk, while the incidence rate of 6-10 year olds is close to 800 cases per 100,000, slogans of“Social alert” and strike calls began to circulate.

“What are the upper levels of the health protocol for?” [il en compte quatre] if we do not activate them when the contagion among children flies? “, wonder, in numbers, the teachers. Used to rule changes “Friday for Monday”, many still hoped, on the eve of New Year’s Eve, to obtain some clarifications from their supervising minister. Invited by France Inter, on December 28, Jean-Michel Blanquer put forward a proposal: elementary school students where a positive case for SARS-CoV-2 has been identified may soon have to present “At least two tests [négatifs] several days apart “, against only one currently, to return to class.

“The meaning of school”

Waiter, M. Blanquer, he who has so often been described as a « bulldozer » ? In his essay Open school, published by Gallimard in September, he was pleased that the epidemic had “Forced to find the meaning of school”. A quarter later, as two variants swept over the territory, the tone became more cautious.

The equation facing the Minister of Education is complex: he must give pledges to the educational community, teachers and parents, who have been suffering from the epidemic waves for almost two years, without touching the health protocol – maintained by the government, at this stage of the calendar, at step 3 in schools, at step 2 in colleges and high schools -, while avoiding class closures as much as possible. A change of foot formalized at the end of November, and which Matignon and the Elysée do not intend to renounce: finished the ” a case [positif] a closing ” ; place for screening campaigns among the students promised as massive, even if, in fact, they come up against the question of feasibility.

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Protocol unchanged, schedule maintained: Jean-Michel Blanquer orchestrates a high-risk re-entry