Orientation. This is a word that has the gift of causing cold sweats in students, their parents, and their teachers. In recent years, reforms have followed one another to streamline students’ path to higher or vocational education. Without succeeding in breaking down the hierarchy between the training courses, fighting social inequalities or anticipating the professions of tomorrow.
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It must be said that these goals are sometimes contradictory. How can self-realization and the realities of the labor market be reconciled? How can you believe in your dreams if you don’t have models or a network to make them come true? How to build an orientation strategy without having easy access to information?
“Put people back on the wheels”
“Young people are being sold a whole discourse about careers out of passion or commitment, but there’s a lack of places in certain career fields, like higher education,” notes Sylvie Amici, who works at the Information and Orientation Center (CIO) of Aulnay-sous-Bois (Seine-Saint-Denis) and chairs the National Association of Psychologists of National Education (APsyEN).
The latter feel insufficient to take on their task: in France there are about 3,500 or 1 in 1,500 students. “In a time when everything digital is limited, getting people back into work is imperativeShe keeps going. We see that clearly in our CIO, where even the most digitally savvy young people attend our Parcoursup workshops. »
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This award platform in higher education crystallizes in the criticism. “It’s a very interesting tool that has become an indicator of the inequalities between them Families who have the resources to control it and others. » The private sector is not mistaken: more and more orientation coaches are offering schoolchildren services, including support in writing course files.
Build your career from a young age
To get out of this anxiety-provoking situation, many insist on the need to build one’s career path from an early age. Alix de Quillacq, creator of a self-discovery application (Pitangoo), urges parents to take this issue into their own hands (1). “Orientation is not just a matter for professionalswarns her. What establishes a vocation are above all encounters with boy scouts of all kinds: an uncle with encouraging words, a neighbor who talks about his job, the coachbuilder down the street who you trust…”
In order to awaken passions as quickly as possible, the Fusion Jeunesse association, based in Canada and France, defends itself “experiential learning” at school. This includes, for example, offering students from rural areas the opportunity to learn how to design video games thanks to teachers of various subjects and professionals. “Young people are consumers of it, but there they discover an unknown sector that appeals to historians, designers, engineers, marketers,” describes its President and Founder, Gabriel Bran Lopez.
For these former dropouts, the economy should intervene more in the lessons in order to make a job tangible. Teachers should also be better equipped and valued to support students. A recent National Assembly report also suggests increasing their orientation training. “The law introduced orientation classes in colleges and high schools, but most institutions don’t schedule them due to staff shortages,” observes Isabelle Andrieu, general delegate of the association Crée ton avenir, which develops educational sequences for teachers.
In order to reduce social inequalities and territorial disparities, she proposes a “common basis of orientation” in all establishments from the fourth to the last year. The opportunity to deconstruct the clichés that weigh on technological and professional paths. “Parents are more likely to believe that a general Abitur opens more doors than She keeps going. However, this is not the case. »
These very concrete ideas are praised by the Vers le haut think tank, which wants to convey more “clear” to success by emphasizing the professionalization of the courses: “We shouldn’t promise everyone to do a long degree when the failure rate is so high in the freshman year,” warns its scientific director Nathanaël Mion. Only 47% of students graduate in three or four years.
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When the presidential campaign is shattered by the war in Ukraine, education is still among the candidates’ priorities. For better orientation, Emmanuel Macron therefore proposes bringing companies to the university to discuss tomorrow’s jobs, while Valérie Pécresse would like to transfer the orientation to the regions, which would hire specialized service providers. The candidates on the left all propose abolishing (or replacing with a system) Parcoursup “more transparent”, argues Yannick Jadot). On the far right, Marine Le Pen and Éric Zemmour do not mention orientation as such. One proposes developing apprenticeships in sectors struggling with recruitment and the other proposes abolishing the only college and “Find a challenging and selective baccalaureate”.
For the psychologist Sylvie Amici, this presidential campaign is missing “an ambitious political project” for youth. “The pandemic has shown us that advice should not be aimed at short-term professional integration, but also at the social and climatic issues of tomorrow. »
To the top
Founded in 2015 by Apprentis d’Auteuil, SOS Children’s Villages and the Bayard Group, publishers of La Croix, Vers le haut is a think tank (idea laboratory) based on the participation of young people, families and actors in the field, successful experiences, studies and scientific work.
Vers au haut led states of general education across France from 2019 to 2021, bringing together a total of 5,000 people. This approach also made it possible to collect 540 proposals on a digital platform.
The think tank drew on these various inputs to develop a “ready to use” educational program for presidential candidates. It is organized around seven challenges (investing from a young age, supporting parents more, reconciling education with the world of work, etc.).