French President Emmanuel Macron has come under fire from mayors, teachers and parents nationwide for his decision to send certain primary school children back to school. Although restaurants, bars, cinemas and museums will not be reopening until further notice, French schools are expected to do so from May 11. More than 300 mayors in the capital region have urged President Macron in an open letter to delay the reopening of primary schools amid the coronavirus crisis.
Critics claim the timeline to meet sanitary and safety conditions is unrealistic, as is capping class sizes at 15.
Philippe Bouyssou, Mayor of Ivry-Sur Seine told Euronews: “The deadline for May 11 is unrealistic.
“At best, we might be able to open something by May 18, but, again, it won’t be like school as we know it.
“I have a little under 40 percent of the staff I usually have to run our 28 schools.”
READ MORE: Macron under pressure as protesters ‘totally’ reject his reforms
Sending children back to school in France will start on a voluntary basis.
But with lockdown procedures easing and work resuming on the same day, some parents may have no choice.
Some French citizens fear it’s not enough time to put in place the strict social distancing protocols.
However, for some parents attempting to juggle work and childcare, it’s a welcome move.
Facing growing criticism over his plans to open some French schools from next week, the French President Emmanuel Macron visited a school outside Paris to meet pupils and teachers.
The school’s accommodated the children of care givers since the beginning of the COVID-19 containment period.
But despite this example of a model school, concern has been growing, and many elected officials oppose the start of a new school year.
One of Macron’s given reasons for reopening schools gradually was to fight against social inequality.
He told the French people: “Too many children, notably in poorer areas in the countryside, are deprived of school without access to digital tools.