Emmanuel Macron wished Thursday that the students, deprived of amphis for more than two months, can return to the university one day a week, but the fight against the epidemic of Covid-19 promises to be still long this winter, under the persistent threat of more contagious variants of the virus.
Emmanuel Macron responded on Thursday to the distress of students in the face of the health crisis by announcing that those who so wish could soon return to attend face-to-face classes one day a week at the university and that all would have access to two meals a day at a euro. During an exchange with students at the University of Paris-Saclay (Essonne), the Head of State listened to young people telling him about their discomfort: “I am 18 years old, I find that it’s hard for a student to be 6 hours a day in front of a screen, ”one of them told him. “We could not close the doors of high school, but today we have the impression of not having opened those of the university,” said another, in the first year of the license. Faced with this fed up, the Head of State said he wanted to speed up the resumption schedule “face to face”, despite an epidemic situation which shows no signs of abating. “A student must have the same rights as an employee (…) If he needs it, he must be able to return to the university one day a week” in lecture halls with a maximum tonnage of 20%, a- he said. He agreed that this new organization would be “quite complicated to manage” but appealed to the “pragmatism” of each university so that it is implemented quickly.
Until now, Prime Minister Jean Castex had announced that first-year students could resume face-to-face tutorials in half-groups from January 25. The measure was then to be gradually extended to other levels, depending on the evolution of the health situation. Having been deprived of face-to-face lessons for more than two months, unlike students in high schools, preparatory classes or BTS, many students experience a feeling of injustice. Hundreds of them took to the streets across France on Wednesday to express their weariness in the face of a dragging situation.. This mobilization took shape with the appearance for several days of the hash word “#etudiantfantomes” on social networks.
Mr. Macron also wanted to provide answers to the economic difficulties encountered by a growing number of young people. “We are more than one to have difficulty eating at the end of the month”, called out a student present in Saclay. “Is there going to be financial aid for non-scholarship recipients? For those who have lost a student job in catering or culture, for example?” A student also asked. Emmanuel Macron promised that all students could have access to two meals a day for the price of one euro per meal in the U restaurants, which currently remain open with take-out meals. A measure seen as a “great step forward” by several students present, such as Enzo Greco, in Staps, and who also noted that the president had listened to them. Since the start of September, the Crous had set up a meal for a day at one euro (against 3.30 euros normally) but for scholarship holders only.
The Head of State also recalled the planned deployment of 20,000 student jobs for tutoring missions in universities. Faced with the psychological distress which seems to be gaining more and more young people, Emmanuel Macron has confirmed the creation of a “psy check” which will allow them to consult a psychologist and follow care. “With the curfew, students can no longer go out “after their video lessons.” They have no escape and that is what can lead to possible suicide attempts, or at least to think about it, “said Baptiste, a second year student. The “psy check” should “allow all young people who need it much easier access, and with care, to a professional – psychologist, psychiatrist -“, explained the Head of State. The Elysee told AFP that this check will concern from February 1 “all students who wish.” “The return to normality will not be done before the first semester of next year”, warned the Head of State in conclusion: “The next few weeks, I will be honest with you, are going to be quite hard”.