- Title: Lockdown in France: coronavirus rewrites the teaching playbook
- Date: 23rd March 2020
- Summary: VARIOUS OF BONIN DURING CLASS (SOUNDBITE) (French) 13-YEAR-OLD EIB STUDENT, FLAVIA BONIN, SAYING: "It's also giving hugs (that I miss), for example. It sounds stupid, but I'm used to giving hugs to my friends, to talk face-to-face, et cetera. Right now, we're always with a screen. It's different, I'd prefer for this to end, of course, but at least it's already something to be able to see them through the screen instead of not seeing them at all."
- Keywords: France closed schools confinement coronavirus outbreak remote schooling students teachers
- Reuters ID: LVA007C69XAH3
- Location: PARIS, FRANCE
- City: PARIS, FRANCE
- Country: France
- Duration: 00:00:33
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Topics: Health/Medicine
- Story Text: English teacher Carole Detemple had three days to tear up the teaching playbook as she knew it and create a virtual classroom in which to teach her private school pupils confined to their Paris apartments by the coronavirus.
Swapping the white board for a webcam, the pandemic sweeping across Europe is forcing Detemple, who teaches at the International Bilingual School (EIB), to rethink how she teaches.
"I'm someone who constantly throws out questions to my pupils. I want replies from them, but with 26 of them on a screen, raising or not a hand icon, it's incredibly difficult. So I'm totally changing how I do things," she said.
Detemple is not alone. Her private school's pupils are among some 1.25 billion globally who are unable to go to school as the coronavirus prompts countries to close borders, put citizens under lockdown and shut down schools, factories and businesses.
The EIB is asking its teachers to conduct their classes through the video web conferencing app Zoom. Minor teething problems aside, 14-year-old EIB pupil Candice Lescure said the transition to a virtual learning environment has been smooth
"Our schedule hasn't really changed," the teenager said, adding that the online classes brought welcome contact with her friends.
It has not been all straight forward in France. Assignments are being handed out via email, government education platforms, WhatsApp and even the post for families without access to the internet.
Social media has been replete with parent's pulling their hair out over dodgy internet connections, overloaded public portals, and the challenges of balancing day jobs and home-schooling.
Candice's mother Marie said she had been forced to change her habits, as we was usually alone at home on weekdays and now has her children schooling at home and her husband working from home.
For now, there is no clear idea of when schools will re-open.
Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer said the favoured scenario was for schools to resume on May 4, after the Easter holidays, if the public health situation allowed it, and that he still wanted for school-leavers to sit their baccalaureate exams.
(Production: Thierry Chiarello, Yiming Woo, Elizabeth Pineau, Ardee Napolitano)
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