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“If we make a mistake, we risk losing everything”: Parcoursup, a stress machine for families



Joy, disappointment, expectation… Since Thursday, June 2, 7 p.m., the Parcoursup results phase has been stirring families. “My daughter has had no positive response, she has been crying since last nightconfides Laurence, annoyed. EShe’s on the waiting list but far too far to have any hope. »

Welcome to the post-baccalaureate orientation platform, where the 936,000 candidates who have made at least one wish for training in higher education have begun to receive responses from institutions. Many will be disappointed because they will not have a proposal right awaywarns Annabelle Allouch, lecturer in sociology and author of several books on merit and the competition society (1). One in two high school students will be placed on a waiting list, sometimes with somewhat abstract rankings, such as 6,000e in law degree at Paris 1, for example. »

All students are affected by uncertainty and expectation

The wait can last from a few days to several weeks, depending on the student’s ranking. As candidates make their choices, places become available for those who wait. “My son is taken in a scientific preparation, but not in the one he wanted, so we will take the time to reflect”, says Vanya. The watchword is “don’t rush, especially at the beginning. Because if we are wrong, we risk losing everything and not being able to go back. »

Parents, at least as stressed as their children, are building strategies to deal with the complexity of Parcoursup. “With our son, we ranked his preferences: favorite wishes, equivalent but less sought-after wishes, emergency wishes for each sector, said Eric, the day before the first results. We will try to manage the responses of the favorites in the given time without compromising the second lines. »

Laurie and her two children have adopted the same filing method. “Apparently, you have to be careful to confirm your pending wishes when you accept training. If we don’t do it, all the choices fall away, “ she worries.

Eric talks about a “period of vigilance and reactivity”. Other families, and in particular those furthest from school, rather evoke a moment of great stress and disarray, reports Éric Labastie, secretary general of the Federation of Parents’ Councils (FCPE), the placement on the list of waiting that can be experienced as a failure.

“With Parcoursup, there is a generalization of candidate status and ranking, whatever the sector, observes Annabelle Allouch. Today, all students are affected by uncertainty and expectation. The baccalaureate has become a marathon, and the Parcoursup procedures contribute to creating institutional stress. »

A demographic problem

The greatest fear of high school students and their families is not having an assignment. Including for good students. “We have the feeling that everything is based on algorithms, laments Eric Labastie. Some establishments do not play transparency and we do not know what their criteria are. »

Even the note is no longer a benchmark, notes Annabelle Allouch. “One of the major effects of Parcoursup is to deregulate the ratingshe explains. Families are going to have a much more strategic relationship to grades from the orientation perspective, but onthe platform we do not know what they are worth. »

The Ministry of Higher Education recalls that 73% of high school students find the platform “clear and reliable”, according to an Ipsos survey. However, the figures reflect “a slight decline compared to last year, under the effect of a health context which may have increased stress”.

The announcement of the results in the midst of baccalaureate revisions is not likely to lower the tension either. “I find it incredible that we don’t wait for the end of the trials, Vania gets annoyed. This expectation of results interferes with revisions and demotivates students. »

Administrative organization “does not take into account the priorities of high school studentsadds Éric Labastie. The Parcoursup calendar has started to kill the baccalaureate, and one wonders if the next step is not its disappearance. »

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