Officially it was a “private” trip. Just before the first round of the parliamentary elections, Pap Ndiaye came to Poitiers this Friday to support the outgoing deputy of the presidential majority, Sacha Houlié. But the meeting with elected officials, teachers and extracurricular actors was an opportunity for the new Minister of National Education to present his ideas for the school.
He who had been so quiet until now that he was criticized for his extreme discretion came out of the shadows. Almost doing a first exercise before the time of the great consultation promised by Emmanuel Macron. It will take place “from September or October, when the start of the school year is over,” he announced on the sidelines of the meeting. While he stated that he would make education “no Grenelle”, an allusion to the deliberations of his predecessor, Jean-Michel Blanquer. The minister says he wants to go “as close to the field as possible, like this afternoon”, in the spirit of the new method that Emmanuel Macron branded.
In the hall of the Vouneuil sous Biard leisure center, a few kilometers from Poitiers, he insisted that “we envision local alliances between school and extracurricular, with the accompanying aid and financial resources”, in the presence of a few dozen teachers, elected officials and extracurricular actors.
“Coming Out of the Gloom”
The minister also urged “equal opportunities” and the need to “project ourselves into a new dynamic” to “escape the gloom”, by “getting as many people on board as possible”. The teachers are “tired, physically and mentally”, “they told me so”, he also slipped.
The background to the major consultation promised by Emmanuel Macron during the presidential campaign is well known: it aims to open the school to the outside. “An educational community is not only made up of teachers” who “take a central position”, but “it takes a village to raise a child,” the minister explained, referring to an African proverb. “My project is to include all the actors,” he insisted.
Sacha Houlié had provided him with a set of devices that “worked” to illustrate this open school. From the math case intended to link teachers and extracurricular agents of the city of Nouaillé-Maupertuis to the learning colonies where Vouneuil sous Biard’s assistant, Audrey Fayollat, takes students in difficulty for a holiday combining math and surfing by their teachers for a stay of 10 euros per week.
A device “that has a certain calling to be perpetuated according to financial equations that must be taken into account because it is an expensive device on the scale of the country,” slipped Pap Ndiaye, who announced that Ukrainian children will benefit from being learn French there.
“I will watch the means”
And for priority education? “Projects exist” but often encounter a lack of resources, or even the reduction of positions, launches the former secretary general of the SNUipp-FSU, Francette Popineau, director of a REP school that has an innovative project for language acquisition for allophone students, followed by researchers. “I’ll keep an eye on the resources,” Pap Ndiaye replies. It is clear that priority education should be included in the generalization of experiments [annoncées par Emmanuel Macron], we must be careful to associate it with this breathing space and autonomy that we need. †
“Transformation of admission requirements for competitive exams”
In particular, the minister insisted on the need to address educational inequalities. He judged “essential to significantly change the admission requirements of the most elite institutions and whose competitions are the most difficult”. By pointing out the bonus points awarded to scholarship students for the competitive exams of the higher normal schools and the importance of mentoring.
He reassures high school students who are disappointed with the initial results of Parcoursup by mentioning the additional procedure. “Toursup is not a perfect device”, “we refine it from year to year”, “this year the situation is much better than in previous years”, he estimated, referring to the draws from the time of APB. But on higher education or “social diversity,” he promised to talk about it with his higher education counterpart. After several weeks of a very rare word, Pap Ndiaye does not intend to speak in place of Sylvie Retailleau.