- Title: Lockdown in France: coronavirus rewrites the teaching playbook
- Date: 23rd March 2020
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (French) TEACHER AT INTERNATIONAL BILINGUAL SCHOOL (EIB) PARIS, CAROLE DETEMPLE, SAYING: "We have to revisit our approach with the students. 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 complicated. So I'm totally changing how I do things, which, by the way, I don't find satisfactory." DETEMPLE SITTING ON COUCH WITH COMPUTER DURING CLASS (SOUNDBITE) (French) TEACHER AT INTERNATIONAL BILINGUAL SCHOOL (EIB) PARIS, CAROLE DETEMPLE, SAYING: "It's tiring for the moment, more tiring than being in class. It's quite frustrating since they don't see their friends, and we don't see our students, and we teachers love seeing our students."
- Keywords: France closed schools confinement coronavirus outbreak remote schooling students teachers
- Reuters ID: LVA005C69XAH3
- Location: PARIS, FRANCE
- City: PARIS, FRANCE
- Country: France
- Duration: 00:00:35
- 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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