The health situation in Guadeloupe does not allow considering a return to school according to elected officials who ask “for consultation with the rectorate, the State, elected officials.”
The president of the Regional Council, the president of the Departmental Council and the mayors of Guadeloupe unanimously request the postponement of the start of the school year. “With 120 deaths in 12 days, we will make a decision between elected Guadeloupeans”, declares on franceinfo Saturday August 21 Ary Chalus, the president of the Regional Council of Guadeloupe. He assures that he “Will not wait for a response from National Education”. He thus calls for a “concertation” with elected officials, the rectorate, the State and parents’ federations to find solutions such as, perhaps, lessons only in the morning or in half-gauge.
franceinfo: the start of the school year in Guadeloupe is scheduled for August 31 for teachers and September 1 for students. Why are you asking for it to be postponed?
Ary Chalus : Given the health situation in Guadeloupe and given that we are in confinement, there is no question of setting up a device allowing staff to return. We do not know if the prefect will extend his confinement further. What is important for us is that there be consultation with the rectorate, the State, elected officials, so as to find the best solution to be able to protect the health of staff in schools. But it is clear that we will not wait for a response from the Ministry of National Education. Guadeloupe is the most affected department in France today. With 120 deaths in 12 days, we will make a decision between elected Guadeloupeans, with the rectorate of Guadeloupe and the prefect of Guadeloupe. We will have a meeting Monday morning at 9 am with the rector and the prefect, so as to jointly decide on the postponement of this return and to prepare this return, in the interest of Guadeloupe and to protect their health.
Why did you decide to take the lead, ten days before the start of the school year?
This is the best solution, because we have complained on several occasions that there is no consultation regarding this pandemic which affects us today. The ARS sometimes takes decisions without consultation. Today, we want a consultation, with elected officials, officials, parents’ federations, the rectorate and the State, so that we have a solution to be able to prepare for the start of the new school year. Today, we say, there are directives which indicate that we cannot gather with more than six, we cannot today decide to make a return to school where young people are more than six in a classroom, especially now that we know that young people can transmit this virus.
What do you offer instead?
The most important thing for us is already being able to welcome the children of the nursing staff who take care of infected people. And with the rectorate, the State and the elected officials, we will have to find solutions to prepare for a return to school, with perhaps, classes only in the morning, or in half-gauge. Distance learning is easier for high school students, which the Region manages, perhaps also for some of the colleges, but in primary it will be more difficult. We must be able to find a solution to support these primary school students, with the mayors of the municipalities and the rectorate.