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Emmanuel Macron visiting “a school of the future” in Marseille

Emmanuel Macron and the new Minister of Education, Pap Ndiaye, were in Marseille on Thursday to visit “a school of the future”, an experiment that the government intends to generalize to the whole territory. But this new method supposed to offer “more pedagogical freedom to teachers” arouses the mistrust of the unions.

Ten days before the first round of the legislative elections, the President of the Republic in the field: Emmanuel Macron indicated on Thursday June 2 that he wanted to generalize “from the autumn” throughout the territory “the school of the future”, an experiment pedagogical carried out in Marseille but contested by the teachers’ unions who demand above all a “roadmap” for the start of the school year.

“Our ambition, with the Minister, is, in the coming months, to be able to generalize this approach”, which consisted in providing resources while giving “more freedom, also pedagogical, to teachers”, said Emmanuel Macron, during a visit with the Minister of National Education, Pap Ndiaye, to the Menpenti school in Marseille.

It is a “method that we will generalize from the fall”, added the head of state, even if for the moment the financing has not been specified.

He launched the idea of ​​​​”school of the future” in September 2021 when he presented the emergency plan “Marseille en grand”, intended to help the second city of France, where the poverty rate exceeds 50% in some neighborhoods to catch up.

“The school of the future” should allow establishments to finance an innovative project around culture, languages, the environment or science by giving school principals the opportunity to participate in the recruitment of their teaching staff.

Objective according to the Élysée: to give “more freedom and autonomy to educational teams to build a fairer and more inclusive school system”.

At the Menpenti school, one of the 59 establishments in the city of Marseille selected for this experiment, the maths laboratory must provide students with “authentic research and experimentation activity” based on “digital tools, manipulation and gambling”, according to an internal document that AFP was able to consult.

The mayor of Marseille, Benoît Payan, won over to the press Emmanuel Macron’s desire to “put resources on the table like no one has done before”, and to “do maths, foreign languages ​​for children” .

Of the 2.5 million euros in the overall budget planned, 360,000 euros have already been committed, said Christian Abrard, prefect in charge of the educational component of the “Marseille en grand” plan.

A path already “marked out” for the new minister?

“But there are red lines: it is the school of the Republic, the equality of all schools”, underlined Benoît Payan, “opposed” to recruitment by school directors.

While Emmanuel Macron was greeted by around fifty euphoric children, before touring workshops with schoolchildren, around thirty demonstrators posted near the school first demanded more resources for Education. national.

The Marseille experiment raises many questions, in particular the idea that school principals can choose their team, a profound change in the model of National Education.

“National Education is not a sum of start-ups”, asserts Stéphane Crochet, general secretary of the teachers’ union-Unsa, who is worried about seeing the new minister on “an extremely marked path” and generalization of experimentation.

>> To read: The historian of minorities Pap Ndiaye, the surprise at the National Education

“This experiment seriously calls into question the national character of public schools, the status of teachers as state officials, the equal treatment of staff in their request for transfer”, adds the FO Federation of Education (FNEC FP-FO).

Others point to the risk of a “two-speed school”, with establishments better provided than others and not located in disadvantaged neighborhoods.

“This experiment is a showcase when the president should focus on the hot topics of National Education such as salaries, the thawing of the index point or the roadmap of the new minister who does not is still not expressed,” said Guislaine David, general secretary of Snuipp-FSU, the first primary school union.

Presidential support for Pap Ndiaye

Several major projects await the new minister, starting with the teacher recruitment crisis and the reintroduction of mathematics in the common core in high school.

The Head of State also marks, with this visit, his support for Pap Ndiaye, a renowned historian of minorities and the target of heavy fire from the far right, who describes him as a “racialist and anti-cop activist”, since his surprise appointment in the government of Elisabeth Borne.

While his predecessor Jean-Michel Blanquer regularly worried about “woke” phenomena or “Islamo-leftism”, Pap Ndiaye himself doubted on several occasions the validity of these concepts.

Positions which also arouse concern among certain personalities of the majority or close to the president, such as Jean-Pierre Chevènement.

Reputed to be a supporter of consensus, the personality of the new minister could however be an asset in promoting reconciliation with the teaching world, after months of confrontation with his predecessor.

With AFP


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