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US News Between coronavirus and referendum, the strange start to school in Algeria

18:55  29 october  2020
18:55  29 october  2020 Source:   lemonde.fr

Coronavirus: "We will have to start pushing the walls" at the

 Coronavirus: hospital © AFP Head of the intensive care unit at Bichat hospital, in Paris, Jean-François Timsit gave a report on Europe 1 on Wednesday morning. from the scene of the coronavirus epidemic in his hospital. The doctor reports an alarming situation: as in other establishments in the Ile-de-France region, all the sheaves beds are occupied, and surgical procedures have already been canceled. The second wave of the coronavirus epidemic continues to hit French hospitals.

After eight months of interruption due to the Covid-19 pandemic, six million Algerian schoolchildren started their school year on Wednesday, October 21.

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Lors de la rentrée scolaire dans une classe d’une école d’Alger, le 21 octobre 2020. © Supplied by Le Monde During the start of the school year in a class of a school in Algiers, October 21, 2020.

The scene takes place on the day of the start of the school year in a primary school in Oran, in the west of the country. Faced with the television cameras following the inspection visit carried out by the wali (prefect), a teacher explains that she and her colleagues had to clean the premises themselves and that the students' offices “date back to the colonial era ”.

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The wali, stung, asks to see the desks then refutes the qualifier used by the teacher before turning his back on him. The sequence, broadcast by local channels, angered Algerian internet users who denounced the arrogant attitude of the senior official. The case goes back to the Minister of the Interior, who supports the teacher and promises that "the furniture of old schools will be renewed and modernized".

After eight months of shutdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, six million Algerian schoolchildren returned to school on Wednesday, October 21. However, doubts persist about the authorities' ability to ensure return to school in optimal sanitary conditions. Especially since the referendum on November 1 risks disrupting prices again.

Covid-19. In hospitals, the intensive care units are approaching saturation

 Covid-19. In hospitals, the intensive care units are approaching saturation © Franck Dubray / Ouest-France The intensive care unit of the Nantes University Hospital with patients suffering from Covid-19 coronavirus. More than 2,900 Covid-19 patients were hospitalized in intensive care on Tuesday, October 27, 2020. They occupy half of the beds currently available in France in these services welcoming the most seriously ill patients, according to the latest official figures. But as the epidemic progresses, saturation is fast approaching.

In recent weeks, teachers and associations have continued to sound the alarm bells. The case of the Wali of Oran, "It is the tree that hides the forest. Most Algerian schools are in the same situation. Fortunately, now there are cameras and social media, ”said Boualem Amoura, general secretary of the National Union of Education and Training Workers (Satef).

"Visit schools in shadowy areas"

The Ministry of National Education and the scientific committee in charge of monitoring the evolution of the pandemic have implemented a health protocol which recommends the wearing of masks by students elementary school and which aims to limit class overload by dividing students into groups with different timetables.

“We were all stressed because of the closure of the establishments. You just have to be careful and respect the measures, ”confides relieved Khadija, a mother whose daughter is educated in a private school in the Algerian capital. Rather reassured by the precautions taken by the establishment of her youngest son, Amira, an Algerian, agrees: "He made his comeback in fourth year [the equivalent of CE2 in France]. School groups were posted the day before by his school. His is made up of twelve students. »

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But all schools are not housed in the same boat, far from it. "Why don't they come to visit schools in shadowy areas [rural or landlocked areas] as they call it," asks a parent of a student annoyed by the images of the Prime Minister, broadcast by television channels, where we see him talking to students with electronic tablets.

"Sometimes, in some establishments, there is not even water", denounces Boualem Amoura. "We have been prepared a health protocol, but it is very difficult to apply it in the field since schools do not already have the necessary means. Out of 1,541 municipalities in Algeria, 1,300 are in deficit, "said the secretary general of Satef, referring to the difficulties in terms of school transport and the management of canteens.

"Coronavirus figures are on the rise"

On the teachers' side, many have encountered difficulties in reaching their workplace because of the stoppage of interwilaya transport (regions) which has lasted for seven months due to a health crisis . “From Adrar to Bordj Badji Mokhtar [in southwestern Algeria] it is over 700 kilometers and teachers have been forced to hire illegal taxis to make the trip to their workstations. The place costs 12,000 dinars [79.50 euros], while the teacher receives 30,000 dinars! Boualem Amoura protested.

Confinement: why schools, colleges and high schools will this time remain open

 Confinement: why schools, colleges and high schools will this time remain open Reasons linked to school dropout and the economy explain this choice in particular. The head of state however specified, in his speech on Wednesday, that the health protocols will be strengthened in these establishments. © Supplied by Franceinfo This is one of the main differences with the first containment set up in the spring.

For the primary, the school will last only one week because of the referendum on the Constitution, scheduled for Sunday November 1st. Schoolchildren will leave school from October 28 to November 4 to make way for the organization of voting in schools.

They will resume with middle school and high school students. "Until then, the authorities may decide not to resume classes as the coronavirus figures start to rise again," said Khayra, a young teacher at a high school in the Bouira region. For several days, Algeria has in fact recorded a constant increase in cases of Covid-19 contamination. On October 25, the authorities reported 7 deaths and 263 new cases recorded in the last 24 hours.

ALSO ON MSN -The Algerian president transferred to Germany for "medical examinations"

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