(St. Lucia News Online) — News that France and all its territories will start deconfinement or returning to normal life gradually from May 11, 2020, has been greeted with concern from teachers in the French Caribbean about the COVID-19 virus which is still spreading.
The islands of Martinique, Guadeloupe, Saint Martin, and Saint-Barthélémy have a total of 342 cases of the novel coronavirus, as of April 13.
In particular, the teachers’ unions on Martinique have expressed concern about the health and safety of their teachers, students, and families.
However, France’s education minister, Jean-Michel Blanquer, said schools will not reopen “overnight” but will resume in “small groups” and reduced hours.
“Not all schools will be open on Monday, May 11, ” Blanquer told French media, adding that he will meet with trade unions from this Tuesday, April 14 to discuss health and safety measures and the stages of resumption.
Asked whether masks would be made available to all students and teachers, Blanquer said it is “possible, but that is one of the things we will decide over the next two weeks “.
President of France Emmanuel Macron announced on Monday that nurseries, schools, colleges, and high schools would reopen “gradually” from May 11.
He said the decision to resume gradually is to combat the social inequalities that may have widened during confinement.
Meanwhile, in Polynesia, another French territory, where there have been no COVID-19 cases, unions are calling for the faster reopening of the education system, according to media reports.