“We must stop being obsessed with the role of school in contaminations.” On the eve of the return to school in middle and high schools, in semi-gauges, Jean-Michel Blanquer ensures in Sunday Newspaper as of May 2 (article subscribers) that the school “is far from being the main factor” in the spread of the Covid-19 epidemic. However, the Minister of National Education signals the rise of the “test, alert, protect” strategy in schools. “After the antigenic tests of the first trimester, the saliva tests of the second, we now offer the self-tests”, he explains.
These self-tests will be deployed in high schools from May 10. How will this screening take place? “We choose a dedicated place inside the school and then, class by class, the students come to practice their self-test, during school time, under the supervision of medical staff, mediators or volunteers”, details Jean-Michel Blanquer, specifying that the agreement of the family is necessary. If these self-tests will not be offered in primary schools, “we [les] maybe develop for college classes at the end of May “, announces the Minister.
Asked about the reopening of middle and high schools while a decline in the epidemic has barely begun, Jean-Michel Blanquer recalls “educational, psychological, health and future issues” for the students. “Despite fears, the return to primary school went well”, he assures, stressing that a strict protocol is applied, with the closure of classes from the first case of Covid-19. Protocol that could be relaxed “if the situation improves” : “We could for example consider closing classes again from three cases, or, perhaps, reinstating entire classes for all high school and middle school students, but it is of course too early to tell.”
Regarding the vaccination of teaching staff, the Minister refers to the schedule: from the next week, teachers over 50 years of age in charge of disabled students and AESH (accompanying disabled students ) will be eligible, then kindergarten staff (teachers and Atsem) over 50 years old. “It is normal that an overweight 45 year old can be vaccinated before a 30 year old teacher”, he believes, pointing out that teachers over 50 “will always have access to dedicated centers” and “all staff will receive the first injection before the summer holidays”.