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Back to School: 10 Points to Remember from Papa Ndiaye’s Statements

Calming down a few days before the tense return to school and complementing the statements of Emmanuel Macron: this is the exercise that the Minister of National Education, Pap Ndiaye, undertook on Friday morning during his first return conference.

Summary of the first ten announcements:

1 – Exceptional competition for the establishment of contractual employees

Pap Ndiaye announced the creation of an exceptional competition for the recruitment of contract teachers in the spring of 2023. Its dates will be “specified soon”.

To solve the recruitment crisis, National Education turned to 3,000 contract workers out of approximately 870,000 teachers this year. Pap Ndiaye tries to reassure by suggesting that “80 to 90% already have teaching experience”.

2 – At the primary school, recruitment difficulties are “practically solved”

In kindergartens and primary schools, recruitment difficulties are “practically solved”, the minister assures. On the other hand, “there are still difficulties in some fields”, such as vocational training, “which are the most competitive in the labor market”, modern languages, classical letters or physics and chemistry.

The start of the school year promises to be “appropriate” even if it will not take place in “optimal conditions”, he put into perspective on France 2 on Thursday evening, while concerns remain strong on the part of the unions. At the beginning of July, 4,000 teachers were missing after unfulfilled selection procedures.

3 – Train teachers differently

“We are not questioning the master’s degree, but we are thinking about a training process for future teachers that does not necessarily include a bac+5 level course,” says Pap Ndiaye, while Emmanuel Macron on Thursday mentioned the possibility of an “ad hoc course” to become a teacher, from the baccalaureate.

“From bac+1, there is already a preparatory course for teaching in schools, which allows students to start a preparatory course for teaching after matriculation”, explains Pap Ndiaye. This course, supported by a general license, is provided partly at the high school and partly at the university during the three years of the licence.

4 – Reform of the university

“In-depth work” will be done at the college. The Minister of Education took the words of Emmanuel Macron: the number of pupils with difficulties has jumped by 10 points in ten years and one in four third graders cannot master the basics. Those around the minister are talking about the “reform” of the college. “We work at a college that allows progress through experimentation,” said Pap Ndiaye.

Above all, the minister insisted on the 6th year, which is a “key” year that “will be the subject of fundamental reflection for a better reception”, echoing the words of Emmanuel Macron during the presidential campaign. “At the college, we will make the 6th an effective connection with the primary,” the head of state declared on Thursday at the Sorbonne.

The minister promises “vigilance” in the teaching of mathematics and wishes for “broader reflection that is transferred from the university to the secondary school”.

The college should also deal with “strengthening social diversity in schools”, with Pap Ndiaye praising the experiments carried out in Paris and Toulouse in these secondary schools.

5 – Improve your English learning

English, a weakness of undergraduates, will be subject to “annual progress indicators” for teachers from CP to Year 3, as is already the case with French or maths. Last spring, 800,000 3rd grade students took the placement test in English: every second student did not reach the achieved level.

The introduction of extracurricular activities in college, promised by Emmanuel Macron during the presidential campaign, with two hours of sports a week to be given to all university students, educators and communities, will finally take place in small batches: it will be tested in 140 establishments.

6 – “Anchoring the evaluation culture”

The experimental national assessment will concern Year 4 students in mathematics and French, as well as CM1 students. These assessments already exist in CP, CE1, 6 and 2.

Pap Ndiaye remains in the same line as his predecessor Jean-Michel Blanquer: the ministry wants to “anchor the culture of assessment” “to better monitor the progress of students throughout compulsory education”.

7 – Debates at schools, universities and high schools

The “big job” promised by Emmanuel Macron will cover “all levels” – schools, colleges and secondary schools – but without making it mandatory. The funds “will be allocated in a flexible and fast way to support initiatives and goodwill”, confirmed the minister. “The money will be paid as soon as possible,” promised Emmanuel Macron. Because if people wait a year and a half to equip a math lab or a flexible classroom, we’re going to beat them. »

The “selection” of projects that will receive grants “will take place at the rectory level”, says Pap Ndiaye.

8 – In kindergarten: no more duplication in 2024

Duplication of classes in a large part of kindergartens in priority education, which began in the previous five-year period and reached up to 75%, will not be “completed” until the beginning of the school year 2024. Pap Ndiaye promised that the action plan” to kindergarten. “We will pay increased attention to the development of the child,” Emmanuel Macron indicated the day before.

9 – School management invited to help families

To help families in difficulty, the Minister of Education announced a “50% increase in social funds” that allow facilities to provide assistance to families. Directors must use them as appropriate, insisted Pap Ndiaye.

The ministerial delegate for the city, Olivier Klein, also indicated on France Info this Friday that he wants children from working-class neighborhoods to have access to a free “keyboard” of school supplies at the start of the 2023 school year. The former mayor of Clichy-sous-Bois, a popular suburb of Seine-Saint-Denis, experimented with this device in his town, where primary school pupils have “all the necessary equipment on the table”.

10 – More internships for students of secondary vocational schools

“Professional discovery time” promised for everyone from Year 5 during the campaign will first take place in voluntary colleges, said Carole Grandjean, ministerial delegate for the Minister for Labor and National Education. It will be through mini-internships or visits to vocational schools. Rectors will accompany them.

Meetings with trade unions, representatives of students’ parents, local elected officials, regions, economic actors, business leaders and actors in the field of employment and vocational training will begin this autumn, promises the minister who wants to “reduce the number of premature students, increase the rate of integration into employment and facilitate study’. For this purpose, the executive board intends to “bring the secondary vocational school closer to the world of business, especially by increasing the time students spend on practice.” »

At the beginning of the 2023 school year, internship times will “increase by at least 50%. Students will be paid by the state during these internships, as promised by Emmanuel Macron. It is necessary to “reconnect the vocational school with the world of work”, the head of state hammered in front of the rectors.

In vocational secondary schools, as in other settings, the “road map” includes “more autonomy” for school principals.

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