Monday, November 2, the start of the school year will have a special tone after the beheading of Samuel Paty, professor of history and geography at Conflans-Sainte-Honorine. The vast majority of establishments were not open the day after this Islamist terrorist act.
The Minister of National Education, Jean-Michel Blanquer, is considering “Three times”, which he began to present on October 22 to the unions. He will receive them again this week and will formulate “Clear, neat and precise instructions” on their course.
Exchange, pedagogy, tribute
A first time will be reserved, at the beginning of the morning, for exchanges between the personnel of the national education. For them, the ministry has already opened a listening and psychological support platform. The Snes-FSU, the majority union in secondary education, hopes that it will be “At least two hours” and that this moment will be “Trivialized”, that is to say that the pupils do not have lessons. “This will slightly shift the start of the school year for students”, was satisfied to indicate Jean-Michel Blanquer in Sunday Newspaper.
A second time will be devoted to educational work on “The values of the school and of the Republic”, in a longer term perspective. The ministry envisages that the children will be welcomed in class by two adults, including the head teacher, and that the sequence is based on a text or a video. The Snes-FSU asks that this choice does not come under a national instruction but of the pedagogical freedom of the teacher, “Thanks to the knowledge of its classes”.
The presence of elected officials
Jean-Michel Blanquer also wishes that “All the elected representatives of the Republic” – from municipal councilors to parliamentarians – be “Present in the establishments on the first day of the school year with the teachers”. The minister’s goal is to give “The signal of the nation’s support”. Conversely, several unions believe that this presence would be “Inappropriate”.
A third part will be dedicated to a collective tribute to Samuel Paty, in the playground, through a minute of silence then the reading of the address “to teachers” by Jean Jaurès, in 1888. “To be a moment fully shared by the entire educational community, it must be done collectively, by bringing together all the students and not individually, each in their classroom”, suggests the Snes-FSU. A system adapted according to age groups will be offered in primary school. With, moreover, a problem, as after the attacks of 2015: to face those of the teenagers who could refuse to join in the tribute, even would like to disturb it.