Belloubet promises dialogue after four weeks of storm

Paris (AFP) – “Dialogue” with teachers, the values ​​of “respect and authority”, but also the education system that must try to “reduce social inequalities”: for her first speech, the new Minister of Education Nicole Belloubet tried to calm down, after four weeks of incessant controversy.

Published: 02/09/2024 – 15:29Modified: 09.02.2024. – 15:28

3 min

On Friday, Nicole Belloubet hoped to establish a “very quick dialogue” with teachers, during a handover ceremony with the one she replaces in Rue de Grenelle, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, in office for just 28 days. “I'll be focusing on that starting next week. You can count on my commitment.”

The new minister, who was the keeper of the seal (2017-2020) in the government of Edouard Philippe, will “continue the implementation” of the measures recently announced by the President of the Republic Emmanuel Macron and the Prime Minister Gabriel Attal, who both want to keep control of the subject.

“The new minister will have to take into account very quickly what is happening on the ground and therefore change what is a problem, especially the implementation of this 'knowledge shock,'” Agnès Andersen, secretary general of the ID, told AFP. – FO Union of school principals.

“Heads of institutions were very present in the demonstration marches on February 1st, which is a rare enough fact to emphasize this,” she adds.

Other projects await the new minister: the attractiveness of the profession and the training of teachers, working conditions and salaries, evaluation of the pact (increase in income related to new missions) and replacement of teachers.

Socialist Party law professor Nicole Belloubet, 68, knows education: she was rector of academies in Limoges and Toulouse for eight years (1997-2005), before resigning in protest against teacher cuts.

New Minister of Education Nicole Belloubet, February 9, 2024 in Paris

New Minister of Education Nicole Belloubet, February 9, 2024 in Paris © STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN / AFP

“At the same time”

“We hear her desire for dialogue. But we have many things to say to her, she must measure the urgency and depth of the crisis,” emphasizes Grégoire Ensel, president of the first federation of parents, FCPE.

“We will judge based on the evidence,” says Isabelle Vuillet, co-secretary of CGT Educ'action.

A period of instability in national education

A period of instability in national education © Valentin RAKOVSKY, Sabrina BLANCHARD / AFP

For Jean-Rémi Girard, from the Snalc trade union, “we will have to know exactly what his compass is: in addition to the structural problems of national education, the topic is also the organization of the next school year”, complicated by the implementation of the “knowledge shock measure”.

Referring to the files awaiting her, Nicole Belloubet wanted to “do everything to establish a system that contributes to the reduction of social inequalities, that rejects any social sorting and that does not exclude students because of failure”.

Words intended for those who fear the sorting among students that might result from high school French and math level groups in 6th and 5th grade.

The minister also spoke about the “values ​​of respect and authority”, this time using terms coined by Gabriel Attal.

It seems that she wants to dissuade the right and the left. “Obviously, she overcomes + at the same time +”, joked Jean-Rémi Girard.

“I thank the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister for their renewed trust in allowing me (…) to continue my mission in the service of sports and the Olympic and Paralympic Games,” she added.

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