Macron’s proposals on education are smashed by the unions

There is now little doubt that education will be one of the focal points of Emmanuel Macron’s (short) campaign for a new five-year term. During his first candidate’s trip to Poissy (Yvelines) this Monday, March 7, the head of state listed several paths for the school: reform of the vocational high school, mathematics at the common core of the high school, “pedagogical freedom”…

Not enough to reassure national education unions, who see the head of state’s proposals as a continuation of reforms implemented during his first five-year term. And waiting to learn more about the thorny issue of institutional autonomy.

Focus on the basics

In line with his Minister of National Education and his credo “ read, write, count, respect others “Emmanuel Macron insisted on the place of” basic knowledge “in school. But by proposing an adjustment to a flagship five-year term reform.” We must strengthen our mathematical teachings […]put them back into the common core and all disciplines together in the Abitur ‘ the candidate slipped, echoing the controversy raging rue de Grenelle about the place of mathematics in high school. A proposal that Jean-Michel Blanquer had already announced in recent weeks.

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« It sounds like an admission of failure Analysis Sophie Vénétitay of Snes-Fsu. It’s another symbol for “simultaneously”: we remove the math from the common core, and then put it back in. » « It’s going in the right direction, but we’d love to see it materialize ”, Underlines this teacher, who is strongly opposed to the reform of the school as a whole.

« This sudden backtracking looks very much like a form of demagogy associated with the election date, For his part, Laurent Zameczkowski, vice-president of PEEP, association of schoolchildren’s parents. It happens a bit like a fly in the ointment. It may be the right decision, but there is no retrospect. It seems premature to me, even though we were told not too long ago that we already cannot recruit enough math teachers and that we want to end selection by math. The President-elect’s team suggests that the focus should be on strengthening math in the teaching of common core sciences – rather than recreating a separate subject for all undergraduate and graduate students.

Code and EPS

But the President doesn’t just care about math and spelling. To cope with digital change, the head of state wants the code doctrine from the 5th He also wants to operate a small silent revolution “by generalization” from the start of the 2022 school year » Half an hour of sport in the morning for elementary school students every day. ” For our children between the ages of 6 and 12, 30 minutes of sport a day at school means a sporting habit, started Emmanuel Macron. It fights against a sedentary lifestyle, it brings children and young people who are taught this relationship with a sport, a love for a sport, for the practice of sport. »

« Attention announcement effects! reacts Sophie Vénétitay. We have the impression that Emmanuel Macron is discovering that it is possible to do sport at undergraduate level when teachers there have been doing sport for years. » « Instead of making announcements, we need to think about the value of Physical Education and Sport (EPS) and what we are doing with it “, presented Frédéric Marchand, Secretary General of UNSA Education.

“The Great Reform of the Vocational High School”

Emmanuel Macron, an issue often forgotten in presidential campaigns, also insisted on vocational training. Last October, Jean-Michel Blanquer himself put the issue back in the spotlight, two years after implementing his vocational school reform. The head of state apparently wants to go further. “ We need the major vocational high school reform that we need, with a partnership with business he assured. Appropriate training courses must be available in vocational schools. There are too many sectors where there are no vacancies. Companies need to get more involved [dans les lycées professionnels]. “And for the president, we have to act even before high school, preserving” a time with middle school students in 5th grade and up, half a day a week, when we bring businesses to college that help guide and explain tomorrow’s jobs so education meets needs ».

ALSO READ: Before the presidential election, Blanquer wants to focus on vocational training

Proposals that make Pascal Vivier, general secretary of SNETAA-FO, the first trade union for vocational training, jump. ” We agree: we must push through a real reform of vocational training and universities the trade unionist admits. But that companies go to university half a day a week is absolutely insane. It doesn’t mean knowing the reality of children at all. They are children between the ages of 11 and 14. They need to be “educated”; Teaching is a profession, it cannot be improvised! »

Instead, the union leader is offering classes in microeconomics and production awareness to all middle school students.” whatever it is: kitchen, wood, etc. He recalls that there are already 22-week internships in companies at the vocational high school. And closes: to think that business makes up for school failures is a mistake. She can be a “helper”, an “axis” (company visits, conferences, presentations, etc.), but certainly not for what she cannot do: teach. Otherwise, it’s not even a bandage on a wooden leg, but an infected bandage on a sick body. »

institutional autonomy

The President, who had just been declared a candidate, naturally took the opportunity to repeat his mantra on the ” freedom of teachers paving the way between the lines to strengthen schools’ autonomy. It is necessary ” unbundle the school by providing teachers with more resources, more rewards and more pedagogical freedom “Emmanuel Macron defended.

« It’s no surprise believes Sophie Vénétitay. As early as 2017, he addressed the issue of freedom and autonomy in several speeches. This is one of his guidelines. What that means in concrete terms remains to be seen. We know that he spends a lot of time strengthening the prerogatives of the head of the institution, especially when it comes to recruitment. For us it is a red line that would create differences between areas. After the experiments announced in Marseille in September, the head of state spoke in The Parisian in January “ the freedom that can be given to certain schools to build their own educational project according to their territory ».

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« We do not reject the idea that there is some form of autonomyin front of him was Frédéric Marchand of the UNSA. But Emmanuel Macron’s comments about teachers are worrying. If it were to push local recruitment or even change teachers’ status, we would start with unacceptable things. Details are required. » « We are not against local recruitment of teachers defended Laurent Zameczkowski. In elementary school, we want the principal, who is our interlocutor, to be more of a decision maker and less torn between the school board and the community. But we must be careful to preserve the public school. »

On the side of the establishment bosses, we are divided. And above all carefully. “ I don’t know where Emmanuel Macron comes from, autonomy is a made-up word, analyzes Bruno Bobkiewicz, Director and Secretary General of SNPDEN-UNSA. There are two autonomies: that of the manager of the facility with the recruitment logic, the merit bonus, etc. which we distrust. And there is the logic of the autonomy of the institutions, which we have long defended, which leaves operational choices, for example in the distribution of hours in the reform of the high school. But for this you need resources, because the choice between nothing and nothing is not autonomy. “With almost a month to go before the presidential election, Emmanuel Macron needs to get out of the blur very quickly.

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