COVID-19: Martinique to reopen schools on May 11 but teachers’ unions demand conditions

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COVID-19: Martinique to reopen schools on May 11 but teachers’ unions demand conditions

(St. Lucia News Online) — The French government plans to reopen schools on May 11, 2020, however, the teachers’ unions on Martinique are very concerned about this intention in light of the COVID-19 virus pandemic which has infected 157 people and killed at least eight on the island as of April 13.

Representatives of four teachers’ unions are demanding measures to protect the health and safety of students, teachers, and their families, according to a report by Martinique la 1ère.

The unions are SNES (National Union of General and Technical Second Degree Teachers); FSU (Unitary Trade Union Federation); SE (Teachers Union), and UNSA (National Union of Autonomous Trade Unions).

Representatives of SNES and FSU said everyone is willing to “resume work with the pupils” but the conditions for resumption raise some questions and concerns.

The teachers expect a thorough cleaning of classrooms and systematic screening of students and teachers. They noted that the education authorities have only four weeks to prepare for this de-confinement.

The island is also experiencing a severe drought which has forced the authorities to ration water supply.

Marie-Michèle Toussaint, secretary-general of the SE/UNSA, expressed concern over how this will affect “health and safety” in the school system.

“Our position aims to protect students, staff, but also indirectly that of parents, ” she is quoted as saying.

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