Teachers' strikes and protests planned across France on Tuesday

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Teachers' strikes and protests planned across France on Tuesday
Demonstrators shout slogans and carry placards during a march led by the Seine-Saint-Denis (93) departmental inter-union to denounce the government's current education policy and demand further funds for public schools, in Paris on March 7, 2024. (Photo by Guillaume BAPTISTE / AFP)

In protest against plans to 'stream' pupils into groups based on academic level, unions have called on French teachers to walk out and demonstrate again on Tuesday.


Teachers in France are taking to the streets again, with another day of strikes and protests planned for Tuesday in protest against 'streaming' in lower-secondary school (collège).

Unions have called for teaching staff to "amplify the mobilisation", with over 80 demonstrations planned across the country on Tuesday, less than two weeks after the last large-scale mobilisation on March 19th.

Unions representing teachers are calling for the government to abandon its plans for a 'choc des savoirs' (knowledge shock), which will involve separating pupils in collège based on their level in maths and French.

They say that the government has passed decrees that are "unacceptable and irresponsible and (...) in defiance of the general opinion from members of the profession". Unions are also calling for an increase in salaries and more resources for state schools.

READ MORE: Why 'streaming' in French schools is causing controversy (and strikes)

What's the 'streaming' plan?

The proposal to stream students into groups based on their 'needs': one group that is 'at ease' with the subject, one average group, and one group that needs extra attention.


It will begin with the lower two classes, 6ème and 5ème (ages 11 and 12) in autumn 2024, and by 2025 be expanded to the older two grades, 4ème and 3ème, according to a decree published in France's Journal Officiel on March 17th.

Ongoing protests in the education sector

Parents and parent associations have also got involved in the demonstrations, as part of 'opérations collèges morts', or 'dead school operations'. These have involved keeping collège-aged pupils home from school.

Dozens of lower-secondary schools across the country have participated in the past few weeks, with at least  25 Paris-based collèges joining in, after an appeal from the Federation of Parents’ Councils (FCPE), French daily Le Parisien estimated.

On top of that, parents in the Seine-Saint-Denis district protested en masse on Saturday, calling for a €158 million 'emergency plan' for schools in the area.

Parents and unions would like to see at least 5,000 teaching posts created in the département, as well as renovations of dilapidated school buildings. 


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