For two months, Jean-Michel Blanquer has been on a war footing. To ensure that the French students continue to study in spite of the confinement, the minister of Education has mobilized without counting his hours, upsetting her daily life, related to “Paris Match”.
Jean-Michel Blanquer is pleased to have “held the course”. For two months, the minister of national Education had to organise the continuation of education for millions of students confined , and to prepare the re-opening, highly contested, of the schools on the 11th of may last, respecting the safety instructions. A real puzzle, which led to him wiping a few storms. “Here, we had a cape Horn passage with a ship battered, surrounded by pirate ships (…) but it has passed”, he says to Paris Match. Not without upsetting a few habits, however.
The captain of the ship of Education is thus a recluse for several weeks in his ministry, emptied of its staff due to the containment. With the exception of the ten members of his cabinet and administrative directors who came every day to the ministry, including weekends, the rule of telework is imposed on all. Meetings, video conferencing, limited usually to one per month, were chained every two days to ensure the “educational continuity”. Then, in the office of Jean-Michel Blanquer, books and files were piled everywhere.
The “hummingbirds coordinated”
Signs of restlessness within the “people of hummingbirds coordinated” described by the minister. “You know, I had been camping for two months”, he says to Paris Match. If Jean-Michel Blanquer can now take a little breath, now that the déconfinement is started, the next few weeks are likely to reserve still a few challenges to the minister, to believe the cases of infection with the novel coronavirus that surfaced within schools reopened on may 11.