In secondary education, the 1,900 positions eliminated and the 14,000 more students were announced. But did you expect so many establishments to be affected, and so badly?
Sophie Venetitay We’re not surprised, unfortunately. It has been several years since secondary education has been entitled to this type of measure, several years that an accounting logic is required, in defiance of human realities. With Jean-Michel Blanquer, the second degree was only entitled to this policy. And by force, this results in a situation which becomes extremely tense in the establishments. Colleges classified as priority education are deprived of resources. Reception arrangements for disabled students are called into question. And in general, this translates into an increase in class sizes. After an entire year that will not have taken place under normal conditions due to the Covid, all this portends a difficult return to school. It is irresponsible to continue on this line.
What is the meaning of this policy?
Sophie Venetitay Jean-Michel Blanquer has a formidably coherent educational project: it is about making savings on colleges and high schools, although it costs humanly – and it will be expensive! We see the formation of cohorts of students with education turned upside down by the Covid, and it assumes. He claims that staffing is not the problem in the second degree, that the problem is elsewhere. However, not only do studies show that it is by reducing the number of students that learning conditions are improved, but we are experiencing, at this very moment in high schools, that working halfway -groups is very successful. This makes it possible to better identify the difficulties and to work on them with the students.
With regard to the lycée precisely, is the minister not thus weakening the reform he so wanted to impose?
Sophie Venetitay The structure of the reform itself threatened many options since they no longer have budgeted hours, they must be financed from the school’s own funds. However, these cannot be extended, on the contrary, and this has created competition between disciplines. Today, the third modern languages are threatened, just like the artistic options which pay dearly for this policy. But the specialties themselves end up being reached. Some establishments are starting to say that they will not be able to form enough groups, in such or such a specialty, to meet student demand. This means that students will not be able to take the specialties they want. And this is how we go from “high school of possibilities” to a funnel logic, where supply determines demand and where the student loses control of his future. This is all that threatens the start of the school year and we can unfortunately trust this ministry not to anticipate it: anticipating anything is beyond their strength. Yet it is time to take urgent action. We must freeze all job cuts, but the situation is such that it will not be enough: we must give secondary education additional means, to face all the difficulties that lie ahead.