Difficult to find a subject more general public than the school. Everyone went there, and his children after him. Everyone has an opinion on their level (down, of course). And everyone can define their vision of society through it. We didn’t have to wait for the teachers’ strike, Thursday 13 January, in reaction to the mess sown by the health protocol built against the Omicron variant, to see the candidates for the presidential election of April 10 and 24 take up this question. Most of them even regard education as the mother of campaign battles. A way of projecting oneself into the future or flattering nostalgia for the past, of defending freedom or equality… In short, of asserting one’s political identity.
Emmanuel Macron has not yet formalized his candidacy for a new mandate that he already claims to want to place the“education at the heart of the nation’s project”. The Head of State claims to have initiated a “revolution” in the matter, which will produce effects on “decades to come”. Compulsory schooling from the age of 3, splitting of CP and CE1 classes in priority education areas, emphasis on learning… The macronists boast of a school education budget up 12% during the five-year period, and schools mostly remained open despite the pandemic.
Elected on the promise to fight against “house arrest”, the former economy minister sees the best social policy in school. Or, as one minister bluntly put it: “Better to invest in a child than to pay unemployment benefits ad vitam aeternam. »
“A frank break”
With a view to a second five-year term, the Minister of National Education, Jean-Michel Blanquer, pleads to reform the college, crucible of inequalities. The idea appeals to the Elysée. That of the economy, Bruno Le Maire, suggests increasing the registration fees at the university, weak link, according to him, of the French system for twenty years. “We need a systemic transformation of our universities”, agreed Mr. Macron, Thursday, in front of the university presidents. “We must increase wages, of course, but above all rethink the function [d’enseignant], declared the President of the Republic to the Parisian, January 5. The subject is school time and the freedom that can be given to certain schools to build their own educational project according to their territory. »
A “at the same time” which allows him to counter the socialist candidate Anne Hidalgo – who proposes to double the salaries of teachers – and that of the Les Républicains (LR) party, Valérie Pécresse, who would like to experiment with the autonomy of schools..
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