In schools, the fear of extreme cold

A course given in the dark, in the light of mobile phones, without heating, at the Voillaume high school in Aulnay-sous-Bois (Seine-Saint-Denis), on December 9, 2022.

In one weekend, the photos made the rounds of social networks, before being taken up again, Monday, December 12, on television: the teachers of the Voillaume high school in Aulnay-sous-Bois (Seine-Saint-Denis) put online, at the end of last week, images of their students bundled up in their jackets in a room plunged into darkness, under the combined effect of a power cut and a faulty heating.

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On other photos, you can see disjointed windows, traces of leaks, toilets without doors. Monday evening, the Minister of Education, Pap Ndiaye, invited the president of the Ile-de-France region, Valérie Pécresse – the community is responsible for the maintenance of high schools -, to accompany him in this establishment of more of 2,000 students the next day. On the spot, Tuesday morning, December 13, he declared that he wanted to “report concretely on the situation”after having been “alert by the press”.

A classroom at the Voillaume high school in Aulnay-sous-Bois (Seine-Saint-Denis), where the windows no longer close completely, December 2022.

While recalling that he was not responsible for “building”Pap Ndiaye called for emergency repairs at the facility “so that this famous building A can accommodate students and staff in good conditions, pending a long-term renovation, which will take more time”.

A situation that has become extreme

Valérie Pécresse, for her part, recalled that the region had invested “6 billion euros” in Ile-de-France high schools, including more than 50 million euros to Voillaume – another part has been redone – before criticizing the previous term of office, ” left “who has “left two hundred dilapidated secondary schools”.

The regional president confirmed emergency work during the Christmas holidays for insulation and sanitary facilities, assuring that the heating had been repaired immediately after the alert was given. Building A of the Voillaume high school, she assures, was well planned in the renovation plan, but it was to start in 2024. “I would have liked to be warned directly rather than going through the media”added Valérie Pécresse.

“I teach in a coat in the gymnasium, and the worst thing is that you get used to it” Benoît Tosi, PE teacher

The teachers of the Voillaume high school, they assure that they have alerted on numerous occasions to a situation that has become extreme in recent days, but which has been running for a long time. “I teach in a coat in the gymnasium, and the worst part is that you get used to it. These problems are not new, confirms Benoît Tosi, disillusioned PE teacher. We talk about it at every board meeting. We have sent many letters. »

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