“The day when 20% of the population falls into distancing, it is a very important burden”, justifies the Ministry of National Education


“The day when 20% of the population switches to distancing, it is a very important load for a computer system”, explains on Franceinfo, Friday April 9, Edouard Geffray, director general of school education at the Ministry of National Education. The week of online courses put in place due to the Covid-19 epidemic was peppered with many computer bugs.

franceinfo: Many teachers feel that the lessons of last year have not been learned. Is that the case ?

Edouard Geffray: Students and teachers represent 20% of the French population, so the day when all this proportion of the population falls into distancing, it is a very important load for a computer system. In addition, compared to last year, the use of tools such as ENT [espace  numérique de travail] or “My Class at Home” was nothing compared to last year.

The ENTs in five regions experienced difficulties, but thanks to the mobilization of the various actors, in particular the local authorities, the situation was able to quickly return to normal.

Edouard Geffray

to franceinfo

The CNED site for its part was confronted, even though there was a large number of connections, to a series of computer attacks that spread over the entire week, which resulted in congestion. However, this did not completely prohibit the holding of virtual classes. Just yesterday, a million five students were able to take online courses on the CNED.

Over the past year, has there been enough investment to protect the servers and systems that enable distance education?

Not all systems depend on the same services, and they have several links. It is each of these links that we must be able to secure and increase in strength. Investments have been made. At the start of the week, we found ourselves in a very specific situation which revealed the need to ramp up on certain subjects and to better protect ourselves technically against numerous and repeated cyberattacks. We are therefore going to continue in this direction with, in particular, the local communities with which we work closely. A complaint has been filed to determine the various origins of these attacks, an investigation is currently underway.

In two weeks, after the holidays, classes will resume online for middle and high school students. Will the system hold up this time?

We have fifteen days to work together, local authorities, the State, etc., and definitively remove all the difficulties that may have arisen this week.


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