Emmanuel Macron in Marseille: the “start-up nation” even in schools

Visit this Thursday, June 2 in the 10th arrondissement of Marseillethe President of the Republic, accompanied by the new Minister of National Education Pap Ndiaye and the Mayor of Marseille Benoît Payan, made several announcements in “the school of the future”this ambition whose main lines were sketched in his speech when Marseille in a big way in September 2021 (see speech in the source document) and has since been tested 59 schools, out of 469 in Marseille. This system involves major changes for the schools concerned: not only can school principals participate in the recruitment of teaching teams, but schools are also encouraged to develop innovative projects, with additional funding as a result – for each hour, it amounts to 2.5 million euros divided between schools according to projects.

Nine months later, the first assessment for the Head of State, and it was Menpenti school selected as an example: winner of the call for projects launched after the president’s announcements on schools in Marseille, in October 2021, the management of the establishment has set up since February 2022 a math lab which aims to improve the level of students through games and digital tools and was presented to the President of the Republic and the Minister this Thursday. At a round table with teachers, Emmanuel Macron confirmed his desire to generalize this method “in the coming months, in the autumn.»

The vicinity of the Menpenti school before the arrival of the president (credit: MG / Gomet ‘)

“Restore meaning to the teaching profession”

Purpose: to give more freedom to the world of education and “to restore meaning to the teaching profession”, as Emmanuel Macron said. “This change will allow both of us to have happier children and teachers whose profession is more recognized and better paid, and more independent leaders of establishments” explained Emmanuel Macron.

This decision to generalize this operation however raises the apprehension of the unions, which headwind especially against the hypothesis of a recruitment of directors of the establishment. In our columns, the general secretary of SNUipp-FSU of Bouches-du-Rhône denounced the “danger of cronyism” of this method (see our article). On Thursday, June 2, there were also several unions protesting the Prefecture’s ban on conducting industrial action in front of the school. An FO activist was attacked into the microphone of BFM Marseille Provence “a Trojan horse to destroy the status of the teachers’ civil servants.»

“There are red lines: this is the Republic school, the equality of all schools”

Benoît Payan, Mayor of Marseille

A concern shared by the mayor of Marseilles Benoit Payanwho told Emmanuel Macron during his visit: “ there are red lines: this is the Republic school, the equality of all schools “, he reacted. Grateful to the president’s interest in schools in Marseille, he did not hide his opposition to this method of recruitment. Upon leaving the school, the Head of State challenged journalists on this particular point: ” we will never take the heads of establishments to create their own transfer window […]. We wanted to give the possibility that the teacher who was recruited would be involved in this projectt “, he defended, while making his statements qualify:” let’s assume that in some places it will work wonderfully, in others it will be more complicated, it will be necessary to rearrange. The answer is not monolithic. First there will be a national time and then a local time. The Head of State defended his view on freedom of business for schools, and on the selection of their partners in accordance with the educational project carried out in each of the establishments.

Other announcements were made in conjunction with the school of the future at the conclusion of this visit: on the one hand, the return of the mathematics option initially from the beginning of the school year of September, but also of thirty minutes of compulsory sport per day for elementary students.

School, campaign arguments as the election approaches?

In the ranks of the opposition, this arrival was also criticized but for a completely different reason: in a press release, the federation of Republicans of Bouches-du-Rhône was criticized. “A secret election campaign contrary to the spirit of the republic. » Stephane Le Rudulierpresident of the federation, he was also criticized for showing up “With a minister skilled in wokism (concept defined by Larousse as an ideology centered on issues of equality, justice and defense of minorities, sometimes considered an attack on republican universalism, editor’s note)openly communitarian and anti -law enforcement […] to attract a Melenchonist electorate. »

Minister of National Education Pap Ndiaye in front of the Menpenti school in Marseille (10th) (credit: MG / Gomet ‘)

On the side of new famous ecological and social union (Nupes)the reaction did not last long either: “Marseille is not a laboratory for Emmanuel Macron’s commodified fantasy. Here like elsewhere, we need more teachers, less busy classes, ways for priority education, schools and compensation worthy of name. tweet like this Manuel Bompard, candidate (LFI) in the 4th district of Bouches-du-Rhône. It must be said that this visit is just ten days before the first round of legislative elections, on June 12.

During the school visit, Emmanuel Macron for his part praised his minister: “When I chose to appoint Pap Ndiaye, I chose to appoint a man who first of all through his life, his career, says what I believe in the Republican school.” The interested party, careful throughout the visit, for his part underlined “the importance of the experiment conducted in Marseilles for the Ministry of National Education.»

Source document: the speech in Marseille given by Emmanuel Macron in September 2021

Useful links:

> Emmanuel Macron and Pap Ndiaye visit the Marseille educational laboratory
> Our news in Marseille in general

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