Education: Visiting Marseille, Macron wants to generalize the “schools of the future”

President Emmanuel Macron, who toured Marseilles this Thursday in a “laboratory” school to test an education experiment contested by teachers’ unions, stated that the ambition in the coming months was to take this approach “all over the territory”. to expand.

“Our ambition with the minister is then to be able to generalize in the coming months this approach”, which consists in deploying resources while at the same time “giving more pedagogical freedom to teachers”, explained Emmanuel Macron in the presence of Pap Ndiaye in the Menpenti School in Marseille.

This experiment in the schools of Marseille was launched at the beginning of September on the occasion of the “Marseille en grand” plan, launched by the President of the Republic to help the second largest city in France, where the poverty rate in certain districts exceeds 50%. , to overtake.

11,000 students and more than 600 engaged teachers

A total of 59 “laboratory schools” have been selected to carry out this experiment, which, in particular, provides for the free recruitment of teachers and should allow institutions to finance an innovative project on culture, languages, environment or science. The goal according to the Élysée: “to give more freedom and autonomy to education teams to build a fairer and more inclusive school system”.

Of the schools concerned, 38 are classified in priority educational networks, such as the Kallisté Park School or the Saint-André La Castellane School. The other 21 do not, such as the primary school of La Blancarde, the school of Rouet or the primary school of Calanques de Sormiou. In total, nearly 11,000 students and more than 600 teachers are affected by the system.

Macron puts ‘medicine on the table’

The mayor of Marseille, Benoît Payan, greeted the press with Emmanuel Macron’s desire to “put resources on the table like no one has done before” and “teach children mathematics and foreign languages”. Of the 2.5 million euros in the total planned budget, 360,000 euros have already been committed, said Christian Abrard, prefect in charge of the educational component of the “Marseille en grand” plan.

“But there are red lines: it is the school of the Republic, the equality of all schools,” emphasized Benoît Payan, “against” recruitment by school principals.

While Emmanuel Macron was greeted by about fifty euphoric children before touring workshops with schoolchildren, about thirty protesters lined up near the school first demanded more resources for education. 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.

The risk of a ‘two-speed school’

“National education is not the sum of startups “, says Stéphane Crochet, Secretary-General of SE-Unsa, who fears that the new minister is “on an extremely marked path” and that experiments are not generalized. “This experiment establishes the national character of public schools, the status of teachers as state officials, seriously question the equal treatment of staff in their transfer request,” added the FO Federation of Education (FNEC FP-FO).

Others point to the risk of a “two-speed school”, with institutions better equipped than others and not necessarily located in deprived areas. The president and Pap Ndiaye, who makes his second field trip after a very symbolic first visit to the college of the murdered professor Samuel Paty, are also expected on very different topics.

“This experiment is a showcase when the president needs to focus on National Education hot topics like salaries, thawing the index point, or the roadmap of the new minister who isn’t already doing that,” said Guislaine David, general secretary. of Snuipp-FSU, the first primary school association.

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