According to figures from the Ministry of National Education, the rate of strikers at midday reached 8.84% in vocational high schools. It was 23% according to the rue de Grenelle, on October 18, during a first movement of the unions in the sector.

In a rare inter-union alliance, almost all the organizations of the professional path denounce a reform which provides for an increase in the time of internships for students by at least 50%, which would reduce the hours of general education.

In Marseille on Thursday morning, demonstrators arrived in the Old Port by sailboat, brandishing smoke bombs with a banner hoisted bearing the slogan “SOS Macron is scuttling vocational high schools”. Emmanuel Macron was represented there as a pirate, noted an AFP journalist.

At the same time, about sixty people chanting “Rescue, rescue of the professional path” gathered in front of the town hall of the city where the Minister of National Education Pap Ndiaye is on a three-day visit.

“The place of young people is in school, not in business”, declared Caroline Chevet, departmental secretary of the FSU 13, noting the difficulty of young people in finding internships, a system which she considers “discriminating, especially for girls.

In Paris, the procession of teachers must leave at 2:00 p.m. from the Place de la Sorbonne, in the direction of the Ministry of National Education. Demonstrations are also planned in Le Havre or Reims.

For the past month, the Minister Delegate for Vocational Education and Training, Carole Grandjean, has launched “four working groups” on this reform involving union representatives, regions, parents of students, establishments, businesses or communities. They must meet until the Christmas holidays, before conclusions at the end of February and then a second phase of construction of the reform.

But from the first meeting, despite the ministry’s concern for appeasement, the main unions, Snetaa-FO, CGT and Snuep-FSU (which represent nearly 70% of teaching staff), did not wish to take part, denouncing “a reform imposed in an authoritarian and pyramidal way”.

“Faced with strong opposition from staff, the minister, despite a few tiny concessions, is not actually giving up on her project. She persists in wanting to impose more internships on students,” regrets the inter-union in a press release.

According to National Education, 626,700 students are enrolled in vocational high schools.