After a long hiatus of two months due to the coronavirus pandemic and confinement, many students returned to school, including students in grades 6 and 5 in middle school, and children in elementary and kindergartens. But while the resumption had been decided in part to re-establish the link with students who are dropping out of school, many students in this situation did not actually return, according to professionals interviewed by Europe 1.
"The link was cut completely. For us, in fact, the school stopped on March 16," laments Gaëlle Swal, director of a primary school in a priority area in the 18th arrondissement of Paris. During the confinement, she tried to keep in touch with the families, to no avail. She has no further news of 50 of the 200 students at her school.
"In priority education, families are a little more reluctant"
Philippe Toison, who runs the school next door, is already worried about the start of the new school year. "We arrive with CPs who cannot read, and who are absolutely not able to work on their own and there, it is very worrying. We have to be able to bring back as many dropouts as possible," warns T -he.
Because despite a strict health protocol, in these neighborhoods, children have returned to school much less. "We see that in priority education, families are a little more reluctant", confirms to Europe 1 the rector of the Paris academy Gilles Pécout.
This fear of the virus widens the gap a little more. In most Parisian districts, 21% of students have returned to school, compared to only 12% in priority education zones. "The first upswings are also catastrophic in all academies," said an official of a teachers' union. And to conclude: "Dropouts have lost work habits during confinement. If they do not return to class very quickly, it could be dramatic."