Macron-Le Pen duel: What proposals do the candidates have in terms of education?

School used to be better for the deputy from the Pas-de-Calais. “National education has been massacred for 50 years by the massacre of access to secondary education […]massacred by pedagogy […] which has led to a continuous deterioration of the diplomas […] and massacred by the reforms implemented in the 1990s that finally turned the goal of employment orientation into a mortal sin,” stressed Marine Le Pen on March 7 during a press conference organized at her campaign headquarters. She is convinced that Emmanuel Macron “wants to destroy French nationalism. If elected to the presidency of the republic on April 24, the RN candidate wants to “rebuild” the education system and carry out a major reform of national education.

Emmanuel Macron, defined in 2017 as the “first project” of the five-year term, wanted to reform an imperfect education system. “Ever since our academic performance has declined, our country has been struggling: this is no coincidence. Our national cohesion depends on it,” he declared in his creed. Five years later, it’s time to take stock for the presidential nominee. Parcoursup, baccalaureate reform, reform of initial teacher education, attractiveness bonus were introduced by the Minister for National Education, Jean-Michel Blanquer. Despite the government’s efforts, Emmanuel Macron realistically acknowledges that the current system is unsatisfactory: “Today, teachers do not feel sufficiently paid and recognized, families struggle with absenteeism and are dissatisfied, children lack self-confidence we continue to have poor results in the PISA ranking. If re-elected, the presidential candidate announced that the school would be included as a “major project” in his new presidential agenda.

Governance of institutions and organization of national education

In the face of “the deterioration of content and teaching”, Marine Le Pen demands that Parliament “set out in a concise and restrictive way what is expected of students at the end of each cycle. A law passed by the National Assembly would define concrete teaching methods to “limit breaches of equality between institutions. The details of the programs would be the responsibility of the Department of National Education. A “true insult” to the assimilation model, education in native language and culture (Elco) would be abolished.

The RN candidate wants to ban escorts from wearing the “Islamic” veil on school trips and promises to “reinforce” the principles of secularism in public institutions.

Emmanuel Macron shows his desire to “change the method” by proposing at the beginning of his tenure that “a stakeholder conference be made available across the territory to develop new solutions. These local consultations would bring together parents of students, education teams, elected officials and professional associations.

It also focuses on strengthening the autonomy of institutions with the ability for principals to hire specific teachers based on their profile and to challenge specific transfers. The presidential candidate wants to publish the result of the national assessments organized in CP, CE1, 6th and second, by institution and by class, to “see what methods of support and teaching practices exist” to identify and disseminate good practice.

elementary school

Marine Le Pen advocates splitting the classes between the large section and the CP. “The maximum number should not exceed 20 students,” she explains. Splitting classes was already included in Emmanuel Macron’s 2017 presidential program. This measure, implemented since the beginning of the 2017 school year, affects CP and CE1 classes in REP and REP+. According to Les Echos newspaper, Emmanuel Macron wants to extend this measure from CE2 to CM2 in the Priority Education Networks (REP) and REP+. The RN candidate also promises to increase the number of hours for elementary school students.

Mastering basic knowledge is the focus of both educational projects. The finalists in the presidential election want to devote sufficient class time to French and mathematics. Marine Le Pen also emphasizes the history of France. The presidential candidate spoke of more sport for school children, “from 2022 30 minutes a day”.

The MP for the Pas-de-Calais supports the wearing of a primary school uniform. She wants to apply this measure to college. The aim, according to the candidate, is to hide inequalities and “fight against communitarianism. »

secondary education

“The single college is a failure machine,” said the right-wing extremist candidate. “Absolute” priority must be given to “the early support of pupils”. The patent diploma would serve as a “post-third-year orientation test” filtering college students between the general branch, vocational training, and “teaching trades through an apprenticeship.” Emmanuel Macron gives this question of professional orientation an important place in his program. He intends to generalize “the discovery of multiple trades between the 5th andth and the 3th, “including technical and manual trades” and “opening” the school to the world of work. The middle candidate proposes turning the vocational high school into a “way of excellence” by increasing internships in companies. Still at the college, the presidential candidate “does not want to generalize about the presence of delegates harassment in companies.

Regarding the baccalaureate, Marine Le Pen wants to reverse the reform carried out by Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer. She promises to return the Abitur “its status as a national final examination”, in particular by raising the academic requirements. The candidate wants to “eliminate all positive discrimination in secondary school. “Emmanuel Macron has advocated a return of math to the common core in high school.

Orientation according to the Bac

On March 23, on M6, Emmanuel Macron praised the success of Parcoursup compared to the previous orientation platform APB. “We had hundreds of thousands of young people who were helpless and disoriented several weeks after graduating from high school. Thanks to Parcoursup, we have made more information available to students. It’s a fairer system built around a transparent algorithm,” he said.

» Read our article: Parcoursup: What do the candidates offer?

When asked about France Inter, Marine Le Pen, for her part, advocates the abolition of the parcoursup. “I judge the tree by its fruit and the least we can say is that this graduate orientation platform has not been a great success. Without specifying the contours of any policy, she promises to take “the views of young people” into account when developing a new program. “Everyone needs to be able to go after their dreams and desires when they’re able,” she says.


For the RN candidate, French teachers “have been proletarianized for 25 years. She intends to break this “accounting logic” by increasing salaries by 3% per year over the five-year term, for a total of 15%. Marine Le Pen wants to seek reform of teacher status and “a reassessment of merit in career development”. »

During the presentation of his program on March 7th at the Docks de Paris in Aubervilliers, the President of the Republic expressed his desire to conclude a “new pact” with the teaching staff. The increase in remuneration would be linked to the acceptance of ‘new tasks’ for teachers: covering absent teachers, individual support for students, help with homework and presence of teachers in extracurricular activities.

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