“A single measure for 2.7 million students is insufficient”, judge Paul Mayaux, president of Fage

Students in a Bordeaux university, January 14, 2021. – UGO AMEZ

  • First-year students at the university will be able to take the tutorial in person in half-groups from January 25, Jean Castex announced on Thursday.
  • This measure will then extend, “if the health situation allows it, to students of other levels,” added the Prime Minister.
  • But for Paul Mayaux, president of Fage, the first student union, the account is not there.

Provide a first response to student distress. Those of the first year at the university will be able to resume in half-groups the tutorial in person from January 25, announced Thursday Jean Castex. This measure will then extend, “if the health situation allows it, to students of other levels,” added the Prime Minister, expressing the “concern” of the government at the “deep feeling of isolation, but also the real difficulties pedagogical ”of the students.

Jean Castex indicated that he would receive from Friday morning the university community and student union organizations alongside Frédérique Vidal, the Minister of Higher Education, “to specify the conditions of this gradual return to face-to-face”. But for Paul Mayaux, president of Fage, the first student union, the account is not there.

Is the return of face-to-face tutorials for 1st year students the step you expected from students?

A single measure announced for 2.7 million students, while their discomfort is more and more crying, it is very insufficient. Many have contacted us to express their disappointment. Student organizations will meet with the Minister of Higher Education this Friday. If no other social and financial measures are announced this Friday, there will be a point of no return between the government and young people.

A simple media consideration of students is no longer enough to calm their distress, which is mounting day by day. In addition, the establishment of half-groups for tutorials is very complicated to organize in certain fields, such as health, given the number of students.

Jean Castex issued as a condition for resuming face-to-face tutorials for other levels to improve the health situation. Are students not likely to be disappointed?

There is a great risk of disillusionment. Because they have no assurance that the health situation is improving. However, disabled students or those on the verge of dropping out urgently need to come back to school. Leaving them on their own longer is going to be problematic.

What social measures were you hoping for?

A revaluation of student grants to take into account the growing difficulties of those deprived of a student job. And reimbursement for psychological consultations. Because there is a psychologist for 30,000 students in France, while the international recommendation is one for 1,500. The hiring of new psychologists planned by Frédérique Vidal will take time and their number will remain insufficient.

What do you expect from its protocols to prevent student mixing and guarantee the rules of distancing?

That they plan to make gel and masks available to students. In addition, Jean Castex declared that the students should avoid staying on site for the lunch break. But that doesn’t sound like a good idea to us. Because what will they do if it snows or if it rains? They cannot crowd into cars or stay outside. U restaurants must be reopened with limited capacity.

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