French teachers denounce ‘infernal’ conditions in schools amid pandemic


French school teachers and education staff held a crippling strike and nationwide protest marches last Thursday over what they say are chaotic and unsafe working conditions brought about by ever-changing, last-minute anti-Covid measures imposed without consultation by the education ministry, and which they too often learn about from the media. Mathilde Goanec has been hearing from teachers and local councils about their nigh impossible mission amid the government’s determination to keep schools open.

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At the Aliénor-d’Aquitaine secondary school in Bordeaux, housed in a modernistic building designed to be self-ventilating, the teaching staff have for some while become used to bringing in handles to fix to the windows in order to be able to open them for fresh air. With the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, the issue has taken on particular importance.