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A New Teachers Union Lends its Voice to keep the Quality of Education high in Monaco

There are of the order of 600 teachers in Monaco, which are organized in an association. There is a new dynamic, the creation of a Teachers Union (SEM), recently formed this last autumn, which has affiliated with the Federation of Monaco Employees’ Unions (F2SM). 

About 10% of teachers have enrolled in it so far and the Union is reported to be targeting to increase its membership to about 100 teachers by the end of this year. Audrey Cheynut, professor of Classics at the Lycée Albert-1 is general secretary of the SEM whose purpose is to maintain the excellence of the Monegasque school system, and to endow it with considerable resources. 

Over the months following its creation, the union office has met in turn with the Ministers Patrice Cellario and Didier Gamerdinger, and the Conseil National and the Department of National Education, Youth and Sports. In the future, the plan is that every few months , the SEM will meet with Isabelle Bonnal’s teams to address burning issues. 

Questionnaire To Help Decide Priorities 

A questionnaire has been sent out to take the pulse of the teachers including topics: 

  • about the working conditions, and whether the person is fulfilled
  • career paths,

Maintaining the stability of teaching teams

The majority of teachers in Monaco are seconded teachers who have three-year contracts, renewable indefinitely. It needs a careful focus to maintain the teams at the highest level and to cover all the subjects needed; this is one of the challenges the Teachers Union is addressing. 

Harassment and Bullying 

Last November, the Conseil National brought forward the vote on the bill against harassment and violence in schools. The Teachers Union was consulted and there is consensus that it is essential to have a system of referents, trained to detect menacing behaviour. 

Digital Technology 

More and more a feature in the classroom modern equipment is powerful with many positives. There are issues to be addressed in scientific and health terms. Screens can have a negative impact on health, in terms of fatigue and concentration. The idea is not to create a barrier to the use of the tools but to make the best use of them….. and, of course, to maintain the link between the teachers and their students.

Masks and Screening 

Fortunately the Teachers Union and the Government are working in sync. 

Classroom education continues in Monaco whereas in France there is a lot of potential strife. 

In Monaco the union is reported to support all government measures that reconcile its two fundamental concerns: guaranteeing school continuity and the preservation of everyone’s health. 

As for masks there is consensus on the science: the virus is contagious, it can be dangerous. And, in the classrooms, there are vulnerable people. The Union supports the Government’s position on the wearing of masks. Prevention is better than cure, especially from a virus that can sometimes not be cured.

Recently, the union asked for kindergarten teachers to be given FFP2 masks to wear every day. They are particularly exposed to young children who do not wear masks. FFP2 masks are the most protective. 

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