8 September 2023

Students wait, before the distribution of their exam subjects, on the first day of the baccalaureate specialty tests, at the Lycée Victor-Louis, in Talence (Gironde), on March 20, 2023.

In the rooms of the Victor-Louis high school, in Talence (Gironde), there are the sealed envelopes just taken out of the safe on the desks. There are the students alone at their table, their faces concentrated, their hands tied, their legs restless, their fingernails bitten. There is the clock projected on the boards, ticking off the seconds up to 2 p.m. In the corridors of tens of meters long, there is the echo of all the teachers who launch, once reached the hour authorizing all the pupils of the country to accomplish the same gesture: “Here we go, you can return the subjects. » An immutable ritual to kick off, this Monday, March 20, the baccalaureate 2023, which is unlike any other.

The general and technological terminal students of this Girondin high school of 2,000 students are among the 536,000 candidates to work for the first time from March on their two written specialty tests, which count for 32% of their final grade and will appear, for the first time, in the Parcoursup folders. They thus inaugurate what will remain as the real inaugural session of the “bac Blanquer”, named after the previous Minister of National Education. Not without difficulty for some, a little out of phase to approach these tests inserted into their schedule without specific period of revisions. “We were in class last week and we’re going back on Thursday, I find it hard to realize that it’s really the baccalaureate, when we’re in the middle of the year”confides Carla, 17 years old.

The management team of principal Philippe Labiausse and the administration of the school must also deal with these new deadlines to set up this “big machine” involving 388 candidates to be summoned, around thirty pupils with “special needs” requiring test facilities, around twenty rooms to be prepared at the last moment, around ten different subjects according to the specialties for the first day, and as many for the second. “It’s always a lot of stress, everything has to be perfect for the students and, this time, we have to manage everything, not at the end of the year but in parallel with schooling, class councils which continue this week, courses to organize, etc. »we whispered in the offices before the arrival of the students.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers Bac 2023: students and teachers denounce “unequal treatment” in the preparation of specialty tests

“We play big, we must not miss”

The fear of seeing the events disrupted by the protest against the pension reform hovered until the end. In the morning, the principal and the deputy principals, Irène Gamaury and Anne Guerreschi, were still listing the surrounding high schools where strike announcements risked reducing the number of supervisors and where threats of blocking were floating.

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