1 December 2023

For the first time since the baccalaureate reform, disrupted in 2021 and 2022 by the Covid-19 epidemic, the specialty tests took place on the scheduled dates, at the end of March. The final year students received their grades on Wednesday, April 12. The latest that count for their file in Parcoursup, the platform for orientation towards higher education.

This schedule finally respected, far from appeasing the teachers, now feeds a deep concern: how to maintain the motivation of the students, when there remains only the great oral and the test of philosophy to prepare? The “reconquest of the month of June” was however one of the objectives announced by the promoters of the reform. The bac exams had until then had the reputation of putting all high schools on hold from the end of May.

In establishments, the new formula fuels sarcasm: “They wanted to reconquer the month of June, we find ourselves having to reconquer the month of March! »explains a teacher – who does not wish to give her name – from the Mozart high school in Blanc-Mesnil (Seine-Saint-Denis), an establishment where several teachers are already reporting problems of absenteeism.

Motivation started

In high schools, the findings vary from slight relaxation to almost complete desertion. “When I told my students that the tests had been placed in March to win back the month of June, it made them laugh”says another teacher from Mozart high school who also does not wish to be named and indicates that, since the specialty tests, his technological terminal students have fluctuated between seven and eighteen present, out of twenty-four in normal times. “They said to me: ‘But sir, it’s the opposite! Looks like they don’t want us to come anymore.” »

If having obtained good results – the two tests represent 32% of the final grade – can undermine motivation for the future, many teachers also point out the devastating impact of bad grades. “The optimistic colleagues say that the students who screwed up will come back to prepare for the big oral, reports Raphaël Giromini, mathematics teacher at Le Corbusier high school in Aubervilliers (Seine-Saint-Denis) and unionized at SNES-FSU. The pessimists say that, on the contrary, their grades have definitely discouraged them. »

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This professor, mobilized for a long time against the reform, insists on the rather weak results obtained by many pupils of his high school – known so far, in the indicators of the ministry, to be part of those who ” carry ” their students best until the exam. “All of this teaches us that children in working-class neighborhoods need the whole year to prepare for the testshe gets annoyed. Previously, in March, they planted themselves in the white bac then they started to work. Now, instead of the white bac, there is a final grade! »

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