On Thursday the 13th of January, about75% of all teachers across France took to the streets to protest against the current Corona rules in schools. With so many teachers taking part in the strike, about half of all schools nationwide remained closed. Students and parents also vented their anger at the demonstrations and supported the strike.

They all complain that there are no effective regulations for schools to protect the children and the teachers, especially as the new Omicron corona variant continues to spread. One reason was the latest change in testing and quarantine regulations for those potentially infected, which were published this week. Due to the low availability of testing facilities, these new regulations could not be implemented at all. The Prime Minister then quickly backtracked and declared that official tests were no longer necessary and that rapid tests, carried out by parents, would be sufficient for the child to return to school. However, even this attempt to back down was not met with approval by the strikers, who complained that many tests were not being carried out correctly and that schools would soon be full of infected children - instead, there had to be a way to protect the children. The teachers also demanded face masks and devices for CO2 monitoring in order to have enough fresh air in the classrooms.
While Education Minister Blanquer tried to talk the unions and parents out of the strike, French President Macron showed a particularly cynical side: although the system of constantly changing regulations is not perfect, patience and pragmatism should prevail. This is incomprehensible for the strikers, who not only criticise the government's Corona policy in schools, but also the entire handling of the virus. If nothing changes soon, the unions have announced further protests.