It is 7.57 am Aïcha and her son Elyas are the first to climb the slope to the Saint-Charles 1 public primary school, 3e Marseille district. On the sidewalk, neon pink lines indicate the spaces necessary for social distancing. But the first schoolchildren are few on Tuesday, May 12, when 443 of the 470 schools in the metropolitan area reopen. ” This morning, we welcome three classes: CP, CE1 and CM2. Or, normally, 81 students. We expected thirteen, they are only ten “, Enumerates Philippe Lucchesi, the director of this establishment classified in Network of priority education” more “(REP +).
“National education is ready to receive our children”
Aisha – a white and blue turban tied on her head and a beige mask – did not hesitate for a second to send her 10-year-old son to school. ” The state education welcomed the children of caregivers for two months. She is ready to receive ours. I trust the school, they will not endanger them! “, She assures. In his gray hoodie, Elyas, his son, admits ” a little stressed ” He is one of the four CM2s welcomed and does not appear to be frankly excited by this return. ” I would have preferred a little vacation “He laughs.
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He still rushes into the vast courtyard punctuated by Chinese mulberry trees, soon followed by Houssam, a student of CE1. ” I send him back to school to make sure he learns well. At home, it’s complicated to do class and homework. ”, concedes Said, the boy’s father. Who goes straight away to wash his hands at one of the school’s three water points, all equipped with liquid soap dispensers and antiseptic wipes.
On the doorstep, the director recalls the protocol to which the students will be subjected in class, in the courtyard and in the canteen … Lina, 6 years old, with pink glasses and matching barrettes, kisses her papa and lists the barrier gestures before take your place in the class queue, respecting the markings on the ground. “I wanted my daughter to find her social life again. It was important for her morale, there were times when she cracked “, underlines this municipal agent, convinced “By the seriousness of the team in place”.
“At school I will be able to learn better “
At the other end of the country, the atmosphere is hardly different in educational establishments in Metz (Moselle), although the city is located in the red zone, in the Grand Est region, one of the most affected by the ‘epidemic. A few minutes before the doors open, the atmosphere is very studious in front of the Seille elementary school. Accompanied by their parents, some of whom are masked, the students arrive in droppers, a bit intimidated but visibly delighted to be there.
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A line has been drawn in front of the gate to mark the area beyond which parents should not go. All of them brought their children’s belongings in plastic bags, which will then be destroyed. Books and notebooks will then stay in the classroom. ” It was hard confinement. At school I will be able to learn better “Says Rosanna, 6, while Ilma, 10, says with a big smile:” Oh yes, I’m happy to come back! “
Anne-Lise, mother of Charlotte and Gustave, agrees. ” My husband and I are both teleworking. Going to school at the same time was not easy, so we bring our children without hesitation. I also tell myself that it is a formative experience for children. “
” Some teachers only have two or three students “
However, this enthusiasm is not shared by all parents. On the grid, the director, Delphine Lebrun, made the count: of the 400 pupils in the school group, only 41 came in elementary school and 13 in kindergarten, which is half as much as those who had announced themselves. “Some teachers have only two or three students, and one has none! “, she emphasizes
At 8:30 a.m., the teachers began to call the students one by one, asking them to stand in single file, one meter away. In the corridors, then in the classrooms, everyone begins to familiarize themselves with the new environment and bend without reluctant to the new constraints.
In the end, it is the absence of friends that is felt hard. At CM2 recess, only three students look at each other in the whites of their eyes. ” It’s sad, huh? “, launches Gustave, determined to convince the others to return. In the opposite courtyard, a mistress animates a collective game. Laughter bursts out. The distance does not prevent having fun.