The French government has promised healthcare workers that their children will still be cared for even if their classes are shut due to Covid infections.
Health and education chiefs anticipate a massive wave of disruption in January in schools throughout the country due to Covid-related absences.
Emmanuel Macron's administration wants to make sure that healthcare workers can continue to work, said government spokesperson, Gabriel Attal, on French public radio.
He said that the children of such keyworkers will be welcomed in schools even if their classes close.
France's healthcare system is stretched with the Omicron wave of the Covid variant and cannot take a drop in staff because they have to care for their children should their classes close due to Covid infections, he said.
This measure covers the children of doctors and nurses, along with those of other specific professions.
Keeping schools open
France has opted not to shut down schools, despite a recent surge in the virus among younger people.
“We have made the choice not to shut our schools," said Attal. "They have stayed opened, twice as much as in Germany, three times more than in Italy and four times more than in the United States."
In the comparison, students who have not been in school are not much better off health-wise, but they have accumulated a “frightening” drop in education, he added.
Education minister Jean-Michel Blanquer said on Sunday that he is expecting disruptions in schools during January due to Covid-related absences among students and staff.
To cope with staff absences, the government has increased the pool of replacement teachers by about 30 per cent, thanks to a call to recently-retired teachers and students.