Gradual response

More than a forecast, it is a certainty: the number of students deprived of school because of the virus will jump this week. From today, in the 19 most affected departments, school leaders have the obligation to close a class from the first case of Covid, against the third so far. This rule change will mechanically cause a blast effect. The closures will be 20 times more numerous in the coming days, according to one of the main unions of management personnel. We would thus go from 3,200 classes concerned to more than 64,000.

Faced with this state of affairs, does wisdom consist in decreeing without waiting for the outright closure of establishments? This claim can be understood. For a year now, the policy has consisted in constantly arbitrating between legitimate but contradictory principles. In this case, the health imperative strikes the full force of educational continuity. But we now have the hindsight to assess the considerable damage caused by school closures. Dropping out, depression, dropping out of school: millions of students – particularly in modest backgrounds – suffer from erratic schooling. For this reason, the choice of a gradual response remains the most reasonable. Every day of open school is a day to be won.


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