When Nicole Belloubet said the opposite of Gabriel Attal about school

Nicole Belloubet has just been appointed Minister of National Education, a surprising choice given her former positions on the subject of schools, which seem incompatible with the vision held by the government for schools.

When Nicole Belloubet said the opposite of Gabriel Attal about school

Nicole Belloubet has just been appointed Minister of National Education, a surprising choice given her former positions on the subject of schools, which seem incompatible with the vision held by the government for schools.

Should we “suppress the Ministry of National Education?” Nicole Belloubet asked the question in an academic article written in 2016, when she was a member of the Constitutional Council. Appointed at the head of this ministry this Thursday, February 8, what is her opinion on the subject? We will have to wait for the transfer of power to know the first outlines of his project, which should be followed very closely by Matignon and the Elysée. Gabriel Attal and Emmanuel Macron made education a priority subject and even more closely monitored after the passage of Amélie Oudéa-Castéra rue de Grenelle.

But will Nicole Belloubet and Gabriel Attal be on the same wavelength? While the Prime Minister took a turn to the right which was felt in his plans for schools, with more authority and experimentation with wearing uniforms, in 2016 the new Minister of Education national advocated a diametrically opposed policy. "Far from the nonsense about the restoration of authority or the wearing of the blouse", the objective was according to her to "leave the rigid framework of the lecture course, give time and autonomy to the young people [and] spare the right to make mistakes in learning processes. Nicole Belloubet also considered it necessary to "modernize the supports by considering the possibilities offered by digital technology through the prism of their educational interest". On this point, efforts have been made, perhaps too much since Gabriel Attal warned about the excessive exposure of children to screens, particularly at school, when he was Minister of National Education. Eight years later, the minister has perhaps agreed with her predecessor.

It is also, and already, the visible inequalities in the school system that Nicole Belloubet denounced, in particular the flight from "public service to join the group of homogeneous classes in private education". A reflection which under the prism of current events is not without reference to the preference for private education in the privileged classes and by several members of the government. She therefore called for "to move towards real social diversity, the very condition of equality and academic success" to fight against social segregation in colleges which reached "unacceptable heights" at the time according to the economist Thomas Piketty. As a solution, the minister posed “territorial and functional decentralization” involving more local authorities.

To put an end to the "increasingly glaring [...] inequalities" and "which the French education system does not know how to correct", Nicole Belloubet supported the 2015 college reform defended by Najat Vallaud-Belkacem. Which had the support of reformist unions, but had aroused strong opposition from the majority unions of the time.

If it is the same today, the position held by the Minister of National Education in 2016 on teacher remuneration should speak to the unions. “Teachers must be considered as executives in their status [and] must be better paid” she wrote, specifying that she wanted to bring the level of remuneration to at least the European average and with financial statuses “comparable to these two neighboring countries”. “We must also pay them more fairly and reward those who are most committed and first and foremost teachers exposed to particularly difficult situations which require stabilized teams,” she added.

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