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Macron’s education proposals have been slammed by unions

There is no longer any 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 trip to Poissy (Yvelines) this Monday, March 7, the head of state listed several directions for the school: reform of the secondary vocational school, mathematics in the common core at the secondary school, “pedagogical freedom” …

This is not enough to reassure the unions of national education, who see in the proposals of the head of state a continuation of the reforms carried out during his first five-year period. And they are waiting to learn more about the burning issue of institutional autonomy.

Focus on the basics

In line with her Minister of National Education and her Creed” read, write, count, respect others “, Emmanuel Macron insisted” basic knowledge ” in the school. But with a proposal to modify the main reform of the five-year period. ” We need to strengthen our mathematical learning […]put them back in the common core and in graduation, all specialties together ” blurted out the candidate, echoing the controversy roiling the rue de Grenelle over the place of mathematics in secondary school. A proposal that Jean-Michel Blanquer announced in recent weeks.

ALSO READ: “We lost 1 in 3 students”: maths teachers fear Blanquer high school reform

It sounds like an admission of failure. Match analysis: Sophie Vénétitay from Snes-Fsu. It’s another symbol of “at the same time”: we remove math from the Common Core and then put it back. » « It’s going in the right direction, but we’d like to see how it can materialize “, emphasizes this teacher, who is strongly against school reform as a whole.

This sudden pedaling looks very much like a form of election-time demagoguery, considers himself Laurent Zameczkowski, vice-president of PEEP, the federation of parents of pupils. It becomes a bit like a hair in a soup. It may be the right decision, but it lacks hindsight. It seems premature to me, even though we were told not long ago that we can no longer get enough maths teachers and that we want to end maths selection. The candidate-president’s team suggests that it is more about strengthening mathematics in science teaching of the common core – rather than recreating a separate subject for all first and last year students.

code and EPS

But the president doesn’t just care about math and spelling. In order to cope with digital transformations, the head of state wants to develop the teaching of code from the fifth grade. He also wants to operate a small quiet revolution “by generalization” from the beginning of the 2022 school year » half an hour of daily sports in the morning for elementary school students. ” Thirty minutes of sports every day at school for our children between the ages of 6 and 12 means acquiring a sports habit, launched by Emmanuel Macron. He fights against a sedentary way of life, forces children and teenagers who have this relationship to sports, to inculcate a desire for sports. »

Watch out for notification effects! responds Sophie Vénétitay. We have the impression that Emmanuel Macron is discovering that it is possible to play sports even in the first grade, when the teachers there have been playing sports for years. » « Instead of reporting, we need to think about the place of PE and what we do about it “, exclaims Frédéric Marchand, UNSA Secretary General for Education.

“Great reform of secondary vocational school”

Emmanuel Macron, a topic often forgotten in presidential campaigns, also insisted on vocational training. Last October, Jean-Michel Blanquer himself brought the topic back into the limelight, two years after implementing his vocational high school reform. The head of state obviously wants to go further. “ We need a fundamental reform of the secondary vocational school, which we need, with a partnership with companies he made sure. Vocational secondary schools must have streams that match the needs. There are too many sectors where there are no outlets. Companies must get more [dans les lycées professionnels]. “And when it comes to the president, we even have to act in front of the high school, keep” time with high school students from the 5th grade, half a day a week, when we bring companies to the college that will help guide and explain the tasks of tomorrow so that the training meets the needs “.

READ ALSO: Before the presidential elections, Blanquer wants to bet on professional education

Proposals that make Pascal Vivier, general secretary of SNETAA-FO, the first trade union for vocational education, jump. ” We agree: we must achieve real reform of vocational education and higher education admits the trade unionist. But the fact that companies go half a day a week to drive to the university is complete madness. He does not know 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, you can’t improvise! »

Instead, the union leader offers to teach microeconomics and production awareness to all high school students” whatever it is: kitchen, wood, etc. At the secondary vocational school, he reminds that there are already 22 weeks of practice in companies. And concludes: thinking that entrepreneurship is the redemption of school failures is a mistake. He can be a “helper”, an “axis” (visits to companies, conferences, presentations, etc.), but certainly not for what he cannot do: teach. Otherwise, it’s not even a bandage on a wooden leg, it’s an infected bandage on a sick body. »

Institutional autonomy

The President, who had just been announced as a candidate, of course took the opportunity to repeat his mantra on “ freedom teachers, thus opening the way between the lines to strengthen the autonomy of schools. It is necessary ” decentralize the school by giving teachers more resources, higher pay and greater pedagogical freedom “Emmanuel Macron defended.

Not surprisingly, believes Sophie Vénétitay. Already in 2017, he mentioned the issue of freedom and autonomy in several speeches. This is one of her guidelines. It remains to be seen what this actually means. We know that he is looking a lot to strengthen the prerogatives of the head of the facility, especially in recruitment. For us, this is a red line that would generate differences between territories. After the experiments announced in September in Marseille, the head of state mentioned in Parisian in January “ the freedom that can be granted to certain schools when building their own educational project according to their territory “.

ALSO READ: Can recruiting teachers “on profile” make REP facilities more attractive?

We do not reject the idea that there is some form of autonomyadvance for his part Frédéric Marchand of UNSA. But there are concerns about Emmanuel Macron’s comments about teachers. If it was about pushing local recruitment, or even about changing the status of teachers, we would start with unacceptable things. Details will be required. » « We are not against the recruitment of teachers at the local level defends Laurent Zameczkowski from his side. In primary education, we would like the school principal, who is our interlocutor, to make more decisions and to be less caught in the vice between the inspection and the municipality. But we must be careful to preserve the public school. »

We are divided on the side of the leading institutions. And above all carefully. “ I don’t know where Emmanuel Macron comes from, autonomy is the flag, analyzed by Bruno Bobkiewicz, Director and Secretary General of SNPDEN-UNSA. There are two autonomies: the autonomy of the leading device with recruitment logic, merit bonus, etc. which we do not believe. And there is the logic of the autonomy of facilities, which we have long advocated, which leaves operative choices about, for example, the division of hours in the reform of the secondary school. But you need the means to do that, because choosing between nothing and nothing is not autonomy. “Almost a month before the presidential elections, Emmanuel Macron needs to get out of the blur very quickly.

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