Long-esteemed by Macronie and holder of the longevity record at the Ministry of Education, Jean-Michel Blanquer is leaving the government after five years of seeing his star fade, especially in recent months. His political future is now being played out in the Loiret.
The appointment of his predecessor was the great surprise of the ministerial appointments. Historian Pap Ndiaye, a specialist in racial discrimination in France and the United States, was appointed Minister of National Education on Friday, May 20. Jean-Michel Blancquer. †A symbol of breakup that is going quite in the right direction “, analyzed for her part Sophie Vénétitay, secretary general of the SNES-FSU and professor of economic and social sciences, guest of franceinfo the day after the transfer of power. Ouch!
This Monday the government of Borne will meet for the first Council of Ministers. Jean-Michel Blanquer is therefore no longer part of it, even though half of his colleagues have been renewed. Yet he keeps a record of longevity at the head of the ministry. Five years of good and loyal service, but riddled with all kinds of controversy.
This 57-year-old pragmatic “techno”, unknown to the general public when he arrived in the rue de Grenelle, was familiar with this gigantic machine that is National Education, the first state budget: Jean-Michel Blanquer was Rector of the Academy of Créteil from 2007 to 2009 and Director General of School Education (DGESCO) from 2010 to 2012. of Education of the Fifth Republic, since 1967 owned by Christian Fouchet. This high-profile minister also enjoyed good popularity with the general public.
A minor achievement in an allegedly difficult position where the minister pushed for the reform of the baccalaureate, splitting CP and CE1 classes into priority areas of education and worked to keep schools open as much as possible despite the Covid. The latter measure has been positively received by the OECD.
Reforms everywhere, but considered “too numerous” by the teachers’ unions, who also did not appreciate some of the orientations and lack of consultation and preparation, especially in managing the Covid-19 crisis at school.
An annoyance that sparked a widespread strike in January 2022 to expose the mess of health protocols. His position was weakened when the press announced that communication on the matter, on the eve of the start of the Christmas holidays, had been orchestrated from Ibiza where the minister was on holiday. This “Ibizagate” had led Mr Blanquer to make amends in TF1’s 8:00 p.m. paper, saying “to regret the symbolism of this holiday season”.
At that time it was even recognized by the majority that this agrégé in public law, former director of the large business school Essec, had lost his credit. †He lost everything in a few days: a well-attended strike, his government expelling him‘ said one member of his entourage.
He has been isolated ever since and the resentment of some teachers has crescendo. According to a survey by the SNUipp-FSU (primary schools union) in March, nearly 73% of the 25,000 teachers surveyed say they are not satisfied with their current professional situation.
Guislaine David, general secretary of this union, spoke to AFP about a minister with “a very strong personality”. †An ideologue who braced himself for his views, who admits no contradictionshe believes.
In February, the Senate took hard note of Jean-Michel Blanquer’s record: the implementation of his reforms was in many cases “poorly supervised”, giving the feeling of “navigating by sight” and creating “generations of guinea pigs”.
†Jean-Michel Blanquer is annoyed, yes, and for a long timeadmits a follower of Emmanuel Macron.But it would have been the symbol of what the President of the Republic wanted: the duration“. Within the majority, some deplore Mr Blanquer’s orientations beyond managing the health crisis. In particular, his passionate struggle against “wokism” or “Islamo-left”, themes dear to the right, which he previously seized – but especially after – the murder of the professor of history and geography Samuel Paty in October 2020. In October 2021, he launched his think tank “Le Laboratoire de la République”.
Jean-Michel Blanquer, exfiltrated from the new government, in search of local anchoring, is now playing his political future by running for the parliamentary elections in the 4th constituency of Loiret occupied by LR Jean-Pierre Door who does not stand.
Also criticized for his clumsiness, the minister will be talked about to the end. For example, he was poked on Friday – the last day of his mandate – because he had brought a choir from Poitiers the day before the transfer. The government announcement delayed, the young singers finally left after performing for the sole agents of the ministry. An addition of 3,000 euros, AFP confirmed the rectorate of the Poitiers Academy.