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Replacements in schools: digital technology to the rescue of lost teaching hours

Educational continuity is one of the major challenges of the Covid era. But it must also constitute a lasting commitment. With or without virus … Message from Jean-Michel Blanquer, issued Wednesday, May 26, at the closing in Paris of the Grenelle education.

→ THE MAIN MEASURES. Grenelle education results in revaluation of 700 million euros

Each establishment will have to “Ensure that every pupil has, at the end of the year, the number of hours of lessons in each field that he must have”, insists the minister. “We can no longer accept that our education system has holes (…), which creates inequalities. “

Mobilize digital

Jean-Michel Blanquer mentioned in particular middle and high schools, where the replacement of teachers is in principle systematic only after fifteen days of absence. Establishments that he invites to draw on the experience of the past year. “The health crisis has enabled us to implement educational continuity plans through distance learning. I hope that such plans will make it possible in the future to ensure that the pupils are taken care of. Sometimes it will be through online courses, a work in autonomy which can be supervised by teachers but also by educational assistants. “

We could thus resort to the recording of lessons by the teacher (when his absence is foreseen) or to modules of the Lumni platform, which brings together educational content from the public audiovisual sector. Materials then distributed to students, under the supervision of an education assistant.

→ ZOOM. “La Maison Lumni”, school on television

The minister may well promise overtime to ensure these missions, the announcement leaves skeptical Jean-Rémi Girard, the president of the National Union of high schools and colleges. “Most teachers already have overtime. If the salary increase remains their priority, they are not fans of “work more to earn more”, he assures. What is more, the internal replacement by a voluntary colleague, in return for overtime, already comes up against scheduling constraints. “

A new application for primary school

Principal in Saint-Germain-en-Laye (Yvelines) and head of the Independence and Management union, Florian de Trogoff also expressed reservations. “In front of the pupils, we need teachers, and not just adults”, he emphasizes, recalling that educational assistants are recruited with a simple baccalaureate. To which the ministry replies that many of these supervisors are in “pre-professionalization” and follow a university training to gradually enter the teaching professions.

In primary school, where each class has only one teacher, the question arises differently. The Minister is relying on a new application to more easily connect the school faced with a need for replacement with a teacher available nearby. “The problem is not the location of available replacements, it is their insufficient number”, annoys Luc Marquès, departmental secretary of the SNUipp union. With real consequences on education. “In normal times, the colleagues divide the students of the absent professor, while waiting for a possible replacement. This could mean five or seven more children in your room and degraded learning conditions for all. “

The situation is worse in times of Covid, where we are encouraged not to mix the students. “For lack of a replacement, it is often administrative closure. And the tension that rises at the school gate, when, at 8:30 am, parents are told that they must leave with their children… ”

The public “debauchery” the substitutes for the private sector

In the longer term, the Minister wishes to act on the recruitment and training of replacements. A site that is stumbling over the lack of attractiveness of the profession. Which sometimes leads the public to “Debauchery” recruits from the private sector, according to Vivien Joby, president of SNCEEL, an organization of heads of free education establishments.

“The rectorates do not hesitate to contact our deputies after – or even during – their mission, he laments. What is more, the substitutes who work for us receive a standard remuneration of 1,300 € net per month, whereas they can negotiate – especially in the disciplines in tension – hundreds of euros more if they teach in the public . “ A “Organized shortage” which for a few years has been replacing “An increasingly significant problem” in private establishments.


The limits of the teacher replacement system

There are about 13 million days of absence per year in National Education.

More than 65,000 substitute tenured teachers and nearly 30,000 contract workers in the public sector are employed. The private sector totals 23,000 substitutes.

The absence coverage rate of more than 15 days is 80% in the first degree and 97% in the second.

Short-term replacement in secondary education, managed internally with overtime, constitutes “The weak point of the device” (between 5 and 20% of compensated absences).

Source: Court of Auditors, 2017


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