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Zemmour’s school program, a “heap of nonsense” for this education historian – The HuffPost

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Gonzalo Fuentes via Reuters

Éric Zemmour during his greetings to the press this Monday, January 10.

POLICY – New year, new chapter for the candidate Eric Zemmour. This Monday January 10, the former journalist sent his greetings to the press in front of journalists crammed in a cluster in the narrow reception hall of his chic campaign HQ. The opportunity for the person to say all the good he thinks of the profession he left, while currying those who exercise it. And to unveil, in passing, the “education” component of his project.

Sorry. The “instruction” part of its program. Because the far-right candidate intends to create “a large Ministry of Public Instruction” which will have the mission of “rebuilding the school”. A priority, according to him, because “for forty years, we have used the school to indoctrinate children”. Éric Zemmour thus unveiled a series of measures that he intends to put in place, such as the reinstatement of the study certificate at the end of primary school, the end of the single college by instituting level classes or even “reestablishing the wearing of blouse”.

As he had already announced, the former journalist of the Figaro also wants to “prohibit any form of ideological propaganda at school” or even suspend family allowances for the parents of disruptive students. A series of measures which come under “a fantasized vision of the past” observed for The HuffPost Claude Lelièvre, educational historian and author of School today in the light of history (ed. Odile Jacob).

“Its program is based on two aspects: a desire for restoration and a form of sorting, or separation, between one and the other. However, all this is based on a mythology, a fantasized vision of a school that never existed ”, observes the specialist, amused by the“ pile of nonsense ”that he finds in this program.

“There was never any obligation on the blouse”

“He says he wants to refocus the effort on fundamental knowledge: reading, writing, counting. However, it was Jules Ferry himself who, under the Third Republic, said that it was necessary to go beyond basic knowledge to establish other subjects. By establishing a 60% cash ratio for fundamental knowledge, and 40% for the rest. This ratio is still the same today, it has not changed ”, notes the specialist. Another example, “the reinstatement of the study certificate at the end of primary school to measure the acquisition of fundamental knowledge”.

“This does not make sense, since the certificate of studies meant for the great majority their only diploma of graduation. It was not a question of measuring the acquisition of fundamental knowledge! Moreover, for a long time, the teachers only passed it on to those they considered capable of having it, which gave figures of 90% success ”, recalls Claude Lelièvre, who emphasizes that those who took it were between 13 and 14 years old, at a time when it was very marginal to go beyond.

”At the end of the Third Republic, only 10% of students went to secondary school. It was under De Gaulle, in 1963, that this system was abandoned, with compulsory education up to the age of 16 ”, continues the historian. Same remark on the “reestablishment” of the wearing of the gown. “Here again, he flatters a backwardness that does not correspond to any historical reality: there has never been an obligation to wear the blouse, just look at the old class photos! It only existed in private establishments, or in a very marginal way, ”chokes Claude Lelièvre.

″ Through this program, he offers a falsely sepia photo. But it is a matter of mythology, it is a false past that he puts forward. What is interesting besides: since it is a very ideological vision of the school, whereas it precisely promises to preserve the school of ideological propaganda ”, analyzes the specialist, who observes the same paradox on the will of change the term “education” by “instruction”, while this name dates back to the interwar period and the debates on terminology refer to quarrels of influence on the school between monarchists and republicans at the end of the 18th century century.

On this subject, an interesting anecdote. There has been a time when the term “national education” has been replaced by “public instruction”. It was in 1940, under Vichy. A year later, Marshal Pétain’s regime was backing down, although this name had “been kept in London, then in Algiers, by the governments of General De Gaulle”, reminds the ministry. So many elements which lead Claude Lelièvre to ironize on the candidate who prides himself on a great historical culture: “With this program, the famous great historian has shown the extent of his limits”.

See also on The HuffPost: At the Zemmour meeting, we tried to talk about purchasing power

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