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Despite the recruitment crisis, Pap Ndiaye displays his serenity for the start of the school year



Detention ? Caution ? Serenity ? In two hours of a press conference which, Friday August 26, in Paris, allows him to show his mastery of the files, Pap Ndiaye does not pronounce a word higher than the other. This intellectual who, before becoming minister three months ago, had no knowledge of the workings of national education, appears surprisingly calm.

Surprisingly because, the day before, at the Sorbonne, the President of the Republic grilled his politeness by addressing the rectors directly. A first, on the eve of a return. Emmanuel Macron jostled them, galvanized them, drawing them a roadmap in line with his candidate program… The Head of State even reserved for himself one of the rare announcements of this end of August, the amount of the fund intended to promote educational experimentation: 500 million euros will be available, subject to greater autonomy for schools, following a model already tested in 59 Marseille schools.

A record number of vacancies

But if the minister’s apparent calm is surprising, it is also because the unions are predicting a very tense return to school. At the end of the competitions, 4,000 positions out of 27,000 remained vacant. A record figure which forced the national education to hire this year, from the license, 3,000 new contract workers, supposed to currently benefit from a four-day training course…

“Yes, we have recruitment problems, but we are dealing with them”, assures Pap Ndiaye, who promises for the spring of 2023 “an exceptional tenure competition” contract workers (1% of the workforce in primary, 8% in secondary). Returning to the remarks made the day before by the Head of State, he also said he wanted to strengthen the preparatory course for teaching in schools created last year to accompany, from the bac, students towards the teaching profession.

But, he believes, the profession above all needs a “attractiveness shock”. This requires a salary increase, with a formula, hammered by the executive for a year: plus a single teacher at less than €2,000 net per month. This promise will be kept at the start of the 2023 school year, says Pap Ndiaye, who says he wants to think about “the whole grid” salary.

Non-binding consultation

In the meantime, from October, the Minister will launch a major consultation in the establishments. She won’t have “not mandatory”, he says. But this approach could feed a redefinition of the teaching profession, within the framework of the “pact” wanted by Emmanuel Macron: teachers agreeing to work differently will benefit from a greater increase.

Supervised within his cabinet by people trusted by the president, Pap Ndiaye also has the mission of reforming the vocational high school that it is“stow” to the world of work. The duration of the internships will increase by 50% and the interns will benefit from a remuneration, financed by the State. “A mark of recognition, a great source of motivation and therefore of success”, anticipates the Minister. In an experimental way, colleges will experiment from this year, in fifth grade, a half-day per week of discovery of the professional world (visits to companies or professional high schools, testimonials from professionals, etc.).

The map of listening and humility

In this new school year, Pap Ndiaye will also have to continue, extend or alter the policies initiated by his predecessor. Thus, the duplication of classes in the large kindergarten section will gradually become widespread in priority education. New national assessments will be tested in CM1 and in fourth. And math is officially reappearing first in the common core, “optional”

Basically, therefore, no major break with its predecessor but a change in method, style. Overexposed to the media, displaying a voluntarism which sometimes bordered on authoritarianism, Jean-Michel Blanquer had established himself as one of the good students of macronie, before seeing his notes unscrew in the unfavorable context of the pandemic. Identified as more on the left, an asset in the teaching world, Pap Ndiaye seems to play the card of listening and humility, which is rare in politics. At the risk of giving the impression that the future of the school is played at the Élysée rather than Rue de Grenelle.

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