This column appears in “The World of Education”. If you are subscribed to ” World “you can subscribe to this weekly newsletter by following this link.
It is an understatement to say that the announcements of the Minister of National Education, Pap Ndiaye, about social diversity at school were expected. Postponed several times, the unveiling of this plan was to constitute the culmination of a major political reform. But it was nothing.
Worse, the presentation press conference was canceled at the last moment (Thursday, May 11) and turned into the untimely sending of messages to dumbfounded journalists. They barely understood that the minister had met with the rectors of the academy to inform them of his timid inclinations concerning public education. Silence on the private school, whose announcements have again been postponed indefinitely, it seems at the request of the Elysée and Matignon.
For the minister, the blow is hard. But it is nothing compared to the immense social injustice experienced by millions of students in our country. Indeed, since the publication of the social position indices (IPS) in October 2022, we know with certainty that school segregation is in progress and that this is in favor of private establishments.
Throughout France, in mainland France and overseas, private colleges and high schools concentrate the most privileged students, sometimes in very large proportions. The divide is even clearer when it comes to the gap between general education high schools and vocational high schools. In a pithy way, we can write, with a heavy heart, that the poorest children go to public school when the richest run straight to private school.
If this phenomenon is not new, it has always been made opaque by people who had an interest in continuing to write the fable according to which our educational system remains perfectly egalitarian. And since the consequences of an illusion are not illusory, some have taken refuge in the comfort of individual stories to better turn away from the fundamental movement that was playing out in favor of private schools.
The reality is now unavoidable and visible to everyone, starting with the minister himself, who had indicated, during a session in the Senate (1er March)that this subject constituted “a priority of (s)we ministry (…). Disadvantaged pupils represent 42% of pupils in the public sector, against 18% in the private sector. » These data are all the more worrying as our education system is one of those, among the countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), where a child’s academic success depends most on his or her origin. social.
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