Coronavirus: reduced gauge in universities, different from high schools, Blanquer says

Published by Laurent P., Caroline J. · Published on 6 October 2020 at 10h53
As Paris and its inner suburbs are put on maximum alert zone since October 4 at night because of the worrying increase in coronavirus cases, on Tuesday October 6, 2020 National Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer addresses the reduction of the student guage in universities and the polemic as for junior high schools and high schools that are not on the same boat.

The polemic grows on... After announcing the gauge in universities would be cut down by two to fight against the spread of coronavirus, a decision that sparked sharp reactions in high schoolers, their schools not being concerned by these measures, Jean-Michel Blanquer wanted to reassure them and address these measures on Tuesday October 6, 2020 on France 2.

He explained the situations are not the same in these two kinds of schools: "We notice very different things in universities and in high schools. The most important is what is happening outside the school, and it occurs the student life has been more contaminating" he said. He went on: "all hypotheses are planned". Among them, the reduction of the reception gauge in junior high schools and high schools if the health situation requires it.

"We have a health protocol with three possibilities. We have been in the 1st scenario since the beginning of the yearn that enabled us to have all pupils in class, but hypothesis 2 led to what universities have down, naming one student in two. We have to really distinguis universities cases and schools"" the National Education Minister says.

For the record, n October 4, 2020 evening, the Prime Minister told several announcements to the AFP as the number of new Covid-19 cases keeps on rising in some zones. This is the case in Paris and its inner suburbs (Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis and Val-de-Marne), now put on maximum alert, like the Aix-Marseille conurbation and Guadeloupe. Consequently, several new restrictions including the total closure of bars in Paris and the inner suburbs, the possibility that restaurants can remain open in zones on maximum alert, but will have to implement a reinforced health protocol, and the capacity cut down by two  in classrooms and auditoriums in universities in universities, grandes écoles and training institutes in Paris and Marseille. 

Tweets read: “Restaurants can remain open in maximum alert zone with a reinforced health protocol.” // “50% maximum gauge in unis in reinforced and maximum alert zones”.

For the record, Santé Publique France’s data recently showed that schools and universities were the main active clusters in France.

Yet, on September 30, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Frédérique Vidal said on Europe 1 there will be “no generalized closure of universities”. On October 4 on RTL, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo addressed the catastrophic situation in universities. “The situation in unis is now catastrophic. Students are squeezed in auditoriums because no one anticipated the increase of the number of students” the socialist elected representative said, as she is opposed to their closure and calling to reinforce long-distance teaching.

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