Pap Ndiaye, already criticized, presents to teachers his 5 priorities for National Education

NATIONAL EDUCATION – His first statements to the press are far from convincing, but the new Minister of National Education Pap Ndiaye wrote to some 900,000 teachers to announce the main lines of his ministry, Monday evening June 27 and thus attempt to ease tensions. He presented what he calls “the major strategic directions that will be ours”.

“I am happy to write to you directly, with the charge of a ministry that has structured not only my career but shaped my life. I do it like the university professor that I am, the son of a secondary school teacher”, he wrote in this letter relayed by The world, welcoming the “involvement” and “skills” of the teachers. These major axes are five in number.

Fight against social inequalities

The first axis is that of the fight against social inequalities, he wrote in his letter. “It is my responsibility to take charge of the drama of injustice that our school system feeds by not allowing the poorest enough to hope to transform their social condition, he pleads. This broken promise casts a shadow over our actions”.

We are going to strengthen what already exists, innovate when necessary so that birth inequalities are better combated by the School​, says the minister, without further details.

Focus on fundamental knowledge

The second axis consists in putting emphasis on basic knowledgelike Jean-Michel Blanquer who hammered the know how to read, write, count. Priority will continue to be given to French and mathematics​, writes Pap Ndiaye.

The minister announces the continuation of the French and mathematical plans and announces the launch next year from a maternal plan. It also confirms the return of math in first class.

Ensure the well-being of students

The third axis focuses on student well-being​. Within the confines of the secular school, each child must be able to feel welcomed, protected from demeaning discourse, encouraged​, says Pap Ndiaye. This spirit of vigilance, of listening must also concern acts and words of discrimination, racist or anti-Semitic hatred, sexist or sexual violence.​, says the Minister.

Pap Ndiaye also says that he will be very attentive to handicapped situations​. He promises improve the status of our staff​, in this case the AESH (accompanying students with disabilities), whose working time is too often suffered​.

Commit to the environment

Fourth axis, finally, the environmental question​. Pap Ndiaye believes that his ministry, like all the others, must engage, in all dimensions, a strong mobilization on the subject​. Starting with school buildings, which are aging and very often very far from environmental standards. This also presupposes reinforcing, in school curricula, teaching on the subject​, writes the minister.

Upgrading the teaching profession

Last axis and not least: “the revaluation of the teaching profession”. “This symbolic recognition is essential. It involves devoting a particular and significant effort to raising salaries if we want to create a shock of attractiveness, attract and retain our young colleagues”, warns Pap Ndiaye, without giving further details.

This letter comes the day after the publication of the minister’s interview in Parisian which drew a lot of criticism. He promised that there “will be a teacher in front of each class at the start of the school year”, in particular by evoking new ways of compensating for the absence of teachers who have not been replaced.

“We have to think about the best way to ensure that the absences – which are legitimate – are compensated”, he declared, specifying his thought: “We want to ensure that an absence of the history-geography teacher , for example, is compensated by his colleague, say, from French. But be careful, not for the French teacher to do history and geography! He will use these hours to do a double dose of French and, when the history-geo colleague comes back, he will compensate by taking over the French hours.”

A proposal that caused an outcry among teachers, who already criticized the minister for having placed his children in the very elitist Alsatian school, a private establishment. They denounce a real deterioration of working conditions.

“A sick teacher should catch up on his hours when he returns from sick leave! How can a Minister of National Education hate teachers so much?”, denounces the collective of teachers and staff of National Education, “Les Stylos Rouges”. “For unreplaced absences he has found a miracle remedy for understaffing: asking those present to replace the absentees. What a find”, mocks Lutte Ouvrière.

“We have a minister who goes from so-called legitimate absences (and therefore justified, by right) to a total negation of labor law since he explains in all relaxation that these justified absences will be made up for. It is serious, and alarming”, denounces this professor of history / geography.

Many people recall that, on the one hand from an organizational point of view, this solution is not viable since a teacher cannot take another’s class when he has a course to teach in the same time? Finally, under the law, sick leave cannot be made up for.

See also on The HuffPost: Emmanuel Macron explains why he chose Pap Ndiaye for Education