Heat wave: in the 12 departments on red alert, schoolchildren and college students will be able to stay at home

Published on June 16, 2022 at 6:12 p.m.


National Education Minister Pap Ndiaye – © Antoine Gyori/ Corbis via Getty images

Faced with the extreme heat expected in France, and in particular in the twelve departments placed in heat wave red vigilance, the National Education has announced that schoolchildren and college students who wish to can stay at home.

The Ministry of Education announced Thursday, June 15 that schoolchildren and college students from the 12 departments placed in heat wave red vigilance will be able to stay at home, even if reception in establishments will remain assured. “In these departments, due to the very high temperatures, parents who wish and who are able to do so will be able to keep their children at home and not send them to school or college tomorrow Friday”, detailed the ministry by press release. “Schools and establishments maintain the reception of students”, it is however specified, subject to “possible closure decisions taken by the prefectural authorities”.

Twelve departments on red alert

Rue de Grenelle, however, clarified that “only low-intensity physical activities are authorized”, recalling by the same that “the regular and systematic hydration of students must be the subject of particular vigilance”. These emergency measures come as Météo-France announced this same Thursday that 25 departments were placed in heat wave orange vigilance, and twelve in red vigilance, starting Friday, June 17. The expected high heat has reached record early dates in France.

The Atlantic coast is mainly affected by red vigilance, the highest level of the “national heat wave plan”. This category already includes Charente, Charente-Maritime, Haute-Garonne, Gers, Gironde, Landes, Lot-et-Garonne, Deux-Sèvres, Tarn, Tarn-et -Garonne, Vendée and Vienne.

Instructions deemed late

The delay taken by the National Education in these measures has caused a strong reaction from the teachers’ unions. Again on Wednesday, as high school students started the baccalaureate philosophy tests in hot weather, Minister Pap Ndiaye assured that the tests would still take place “according to the procedures and schedules that have been planned”, even if the situation was carefully monitored.

“Despite the episodes of heat wave already experienced in past years, it will have been necessary to wait until it is in the middle of a period of high heat for recommendations to be sent by the Ministry of National Education to rectors”, lamented the SE-Unsa union on Wednesday. in a press release, which considered the heat wave as a “priority work to be carried out for the years to come”, in particular in terms of “adaptation of school buildings”.

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