A program against educational inequality

“We affirm very clearly that there should be zero school leavers and that it is essential to recruit a large number of staff and to reduce the number of pupils per class for a quality public service.” It was Marie Jeanne Gobert, head of public services at the PCF, who presented on May 19 the part of the program of Nupes, the alliance of the left, about the School. The program sets three priorities: combating school segregation, strengthening vocational education and upgrading the national education staff. It is clearly at odds with that of E Macron.

Fight against school segregation

At the New People’s Ecological and Social Union (NUPES), we have envisioned an accordion program, much of which has been accepted by all parties and some points will be submitted to parliamentary debate. These points are rare in the education part and concern the European Language Charter and extra-statutory subsidies for private education. The most important thing is agreed upon: a left-wing education policy that clearly addresses the central issue of educational inequalities. Inequalities that allowed the departing team to even think of, with the EPLEI (international public institutions), the reconstruction in the public school of a sector reserved for the bourgeoisie from kindergarten to terminal.

NUPES wants to “rebuild a global school for equality and emancipation”. To this end, the left-wing alliance wants to “provide truly free public education.” It is not a question of disturbing the school uniform, but of supporting the part of the school that weighs on the families and makes the difference between the poor students and the others. It concerns the school cafeteria, school transport, school books (already largely free but not completely), necessities (which were free at school in the 20th century). For the majority of children, these measures will be unimportant. But JP Delahaye show excellent how much these items weigh on the budget of the most modest households. And how these questions are a source of humiliation, fatigue and disgust at school for the poorest of the poor.

For the first time, a party is putting the fight against school segregation first. NUPES envisions a solution that is not without a recall the Quebec program† NUPES wants to draw up a new school card in which private institutions are integrated. Their funding will be proportionate to their commitments in favor of the social mix of their establishments. The program does not say how this measure would be supervised. But the commitment made is very strong and should meet serious opposition in our country. The priority map for education would also be revised. We know that, for example, many secondary schools want to return there. In addition, the current map is old. Also note the reshuffle of Rased, frozen for 5 years.

Restart vocational education

Vocational education reform can be linked to this objective of tackling inequalities. NUPES plans to return control of the CFAs to the regions. It is a law of E Borne that she entrusted to the employers’ organizations. With regard to the school career path, NUPES aims to restore the vocational baccalaureate in 4 years. It is a claim by teachers’ unions that consider this time necessary to raise the level of students. The NUPES wants to “strengthen the general teaching”. A measure that also arose from the Cnesco conference† Remember, on the other hand, Emmanuel Macron wants to divide and double the time spent on the internship, which equates to half the time spent on teaching. NUPES also wants to “protect short courses in higher education and promote studies after a professional or technological baccalaureate”. Here too, NUPES opposes the policy of E Macron, who has excluded a large number of baccalaureate holders from higher education with Parcoursup. The reform of this pathway is aimed at direct access to the labor market, thus ending the social advancement of the most disadvantaged. The apprenticeship tax would be reserved for public institutions.

Re-evaluating teachers

And the teachers in all of this? They are close to a million and very few want E Macron’s policies to continue. The NUPES program aims to “upgrade National Education staff and strengthen resources”. For this, he announces the end of the freeze on the index point of the public service and the revaluation of the salary schedules “by entering into negotiations with the unions”. The NUPES also wants “a multi-year recruitment plan for all leagues”, a way to respond to the recruitment crisis. The left alliance wants to protect pedagogical freedom and “end evaluations and permanent controls”. This breaks with the new management that JM Blanquer has strengthened in 5 years. With the same concern, it is also a question of “strengthening the national framework of the public service of education”, in particular as regards the content of education, recruitment and statutes and finally the baccalaureate, whose reform would be canceled.

Difficult points…

This program breaks very clearly with that of E Macron and with the orientations given at the School since the beginning of the century. But all these points are not confirmed with the same force.

There are clear policies. Ensuring greater social diversity in institutions is primarily a matter of political voluntariness. Make education really free, because the extra costs wouldn’t be very big. Although France is internationally known as the country with the most unequal European education systems, it is interesting to note that little effort has been made so far to counter this. More than one government has broken its teeth at this goal, often in the name of championing excellence and “Republican merit.”

Other points of the program deploy resources. This is the case for the bac pro in 4 years (a third more teachers in LP), upgrading, recruiting. On these points, the program fails by not discussing the financing of these measures. Mr MacronWith 6 billion announced annually, a School extends the policy it has followed since 2017 by further increasing the inequality between students and staff.

Francois Jarraud

The program

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