The decree that Jean-Michel Blanquer has just signed on school rhythms is worthy not of a Solomon but of a Pontius Pilate. It is the “base”, provided it is united, who will choose the return to the four-day week. And the irresponsible head of the Ministry of Education washes his hands.
After the decision taken in 2008 by the Minister of National Education Xavier Darcos to allow the suppression of the Saturday class and the generalization of the four-day week in primary education, the historian Antoine Prost had denounced ” a debacle Accompanied by ” a cowardly relief “. And he titled his tribune appeared in “Le Monde” of 28 May 2008: ” A pedagogical Munich! “. Bis repetita?
On May 18, 2010, Jean-Michel Blanquer (then Director of School Education) was auditioned on the subject . And what was recorded in the information report tabled on 8 December 2010 by the Committee on Cultural Affairs and Education of the National Assembly (the conclusion of the work of the mission on school rhythms) worth of be recalled (and sounds like a call to order).
” During his hearing by the mission, Jean-Michel Blanquer, Director General of Primary School Education at the Ministry of Education, insisted that the four-day week had not been” imposed “By the reform of primary education in 2008, since school councils are in fact free to distribute the teaching on 8 or 9 half-days. According to DGESE, the then Minister of National Education had an “implicit preference”, contrary to what the texts might suggest, for the week of 9 half – days , advantages. In particular, the ” continuity of the week “, resulting from this mode of organization, is “good for the child “, the latter needing regularity; it also tends to trivialize the schooling of Wednesday, while allowing schoolchildren to benefit from a real break during the weekend “
But the four-day week is the “base” and becomes the norm for the organization of school time: for 2009-2010, more than 95% of the 49,500 schools chose it.
And the report goes on: ” It is clear that if the 9-day half-day was not chosen, it is because, as Mr. Jean-Michel Blanquer, DGESCO, indicated,” the world of adults ‘is understood about the world of children ‘ “. Or rather, a certain world of adults agreed on the backs of the world of children?
Jean-Michel Blanquer prides himself on being a Minister of National Education who bases his policy on ” science ” and ” pragmatism ” . To see, to say the least …
For science , he knows what the report of the Academy of Medicine (“Development of school time and child health”) recommended : “organize the school week on a shorter day : five hours, for example, and over a week of four and a half days or five days, as in most European countries “
For ” pragmatism” , he knows that the other European countries are far from spending only 144 days a year on primary education . The average is 184 days, while the average annual teaching time is only 785 hours per year in Europe, compared with 864 hours in France. We would be the only “pragmatic” with this “ratio” there, quite exceptional? Normally doing long, tiring (and / or unproductive) school days. Bizarre! Where is “pragmatism” nested? What does it recognize?
Under the ministry of François Bayrou, from June to October 1994, 40,000 school councils (out of 55,000 schools) responded to an extensive consultation on the organization of school time . Maintaining the status quo, with Saturday morning worked, won only 15% of the vote, while the simple postponement from Saturday morning to Wednesday made the worst score. On the other hand, the liberation of Saturday morning, with its necessary corollary of the shortening of the school holidays, is a great success (39%). But the most remarkable (and the most worrying for those who are resolutely taking into account the “school rhythms” and therefore the reduction of the class day), is that 20% of the councils have not hesitated to set their sights on scenario 4, which provides 4 days of 6:30 am class.What we can not expect without problems of ” proximity democracy ” .
The distance between the parents of “basic” pupils on the one hand, and the parents’ federations and some officials of the Ministry of Education on the other hand, will increase significantly during the period 1994 under the influence of specialists in school rhythms, judging by certain testimonies, those of François Testu in particular.
“I think if we had let go, we would all be in the 4 days. At four or five, not more, in particular at the congress of Blagnac of the FCPE, in 1994, we put the package. The basis of the CIPF, like that of the PEEP, was for the 4 days; and autonomous even more. We made a “muscular” call that was published almost everywhere, and I spoke at the CIPF convention. We were heard. There was a turnaround on the part of the two federations of parents, the autonomous afterwards rallied. The politicians did not know too much about which foot dance […].I did a television show with the Director of Schools, Marcel Duhamel, who was not far from thinking at the time that the 4 days were the best. Six months later he invited me to speak to the ministry in front of all the officials; and we put a brake very clear compared to the 4 days. It is reassuring to see politicians back off. We can still discuss