School Tomorrow?

Tomorrow, Monday 19th March, I’m not supposed to send my kids to school. The FCPE (Fédération des Conseils de Parents d’Elèves) nationwide is asking parents to keep their children home in protest against proposed teacher cuts.

What to do? Ruadhri is all for staying home, but with him it’s any excuse not to go to school! He enjoys it OK, but wouldn’t bother going out of choice. It’s true to say that he doesn’t seem to have the most inspiring teacher this year, and he’ll be much happier at Collège in September when he’ll be doing more than copying French off the board or labouring through excruciating ‘magic maths’ sheets.

Caiti doesn’t want to miss school, not so close to her Bac. She’s finally honed down her Uni choices to Bordeaux, Angers, Paris and Limoges, in that order. We only got to see one of those at a JPO, but Limoges she knows from visiting Benj there. Since Limoges is our région’s university, Caiti is guaranteed a place there so long as she gets her Bac, which won’t be an issue. They have to take her whether they want to or not. However, I’m sure she’ll be offered a place by her first choice. She’s not taking any chances though, and is working extremely hard – or at least harder than she was!

And I don’t want either of them to miss their schooling. They’ve missed a few days because of bad weather and teacher strikes, on top of a few days’ illness each, and that’s enough. Besides, I don’t approve of going on strike, although I respect that people have the legal right to do so. What the FCPE is proposing is essentially a strike – a teacher’s strike in reverse. The end result is the same in that the children aren’t receiving a day’s education that they should be getting. I’m against teacher cuts as much as the next person, but I don’t think this is the right way to go about them. Putting forward reasoned arguments, backed up by facts and figures, would be a more constructive and co-operative way of facing the issue. The FCPE is also calling for manifs – manifestations – on Saturday outside the académie (education office) in each département, most of which will be preceded by an opération escargot (go slow i.e. traffic is held up by marchers or a co-ordinated group of motor vehicles driving very slowly). How effective these will be I’m not sure since I’m fairly certain bureaucrats don’t work on Saturdays, so there’ll be no one in the various education offices to witness the protests, and most likely the only people out on the roads will be the ones going to do the protesting!

So, it will be école as usual on Monday for the Dagg kids. They’ve had a good weekend to recharge their batteries. We had our frog spotting walk on Saturday evening, on top of a day of bonfires, and today Rors came on our favourite mill walk with me while Caiti went shooting with her Dad. Ruadhri also helped declog the lake grills from the millions of catkins that are currently falling off the trees into the water and washing up there, together with frogs and toads!

0 Replies to “School Tomorrow?”

  1. What fab names the kids have! And their weekend sounds a lot better than the usual kids weekends of video games and internet surfing. Hope they are not the only ones at school tomorrow!

  2. I know what you mean. I think I would send my kids to school too. Do you think the teachers will treat those kids who attend school differently later on, or are they substitute teachers on Monday?

    1. In theory the usual teachers should be there and it should be business as normal. I’m not sure we’ve had a reverse strike like this before so no one’s sure what to expect!

  3. I hadn’t heard about this, our school doesn’t get as implicated in these issues being a private school, although the teachers are Education National and could be just as at risk as any others. However, knowing the parents that I do, none of them would miss work for a day like this, so I would expect only kids who have parents at home or children of Bankers (and other professions that don’t work Mondays) will possibly stay at home.

    1. I don’t think that many kids will be absent. As you say, working parents will be sending their kids in unless they feel strongly enough about the protest to take a day off themselves to baby sit.

  4. While I sympathize with the teachers, I don’t like shifting the responsibility of the strike to the students and their parents. It puts you in an awkward position and as Michelle mentioned, lots of parents have to go to work and aren’t in a position to stay home with their children even if they wanted. It just seems like the wrong way to go about it.

    Sad to see that Caiti’s first choice isn’t Paris but I’m sure that the poorly organized JPO is one of the reasons.

    1. No, I think this “reverse-strike” was a badly thought out move by the FCPE. There were plenty of kids on both Caiti’s and Ruadhri’s school buses this morning, so I don’t think it will be very well supported.
      Caiti has gone off Paris a lot although she still likes the course. It was the dreadful attitude at the JPO that even she picked up on that put her off. Not providing info about accommodation or having even a single lab open for kids to look round was simply appalling. Shame.

  5. I’ve never had to make a decision like that, although another blogger friend said her kids had to stay home for a few days a couple of weeks ago because of a teacher’s strike (in Canada). I wonder if we’ll be seeing more of this?

    1. We have several school strikes a year. With Ruadhri’s school, it’s shut since there’s only one teacher, but at lycee some teachers are still working since there are lots of different unions and so the kids get some lessons. Striking is not the answer. I dislike the bully-boy nature of strikes, and it seems to me that it’s always the wrong people that get affected by them.

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