What is the Primary School Candidate Program?

If there’s one topic that every voter has an opinion on, it’s education. The presidential candidates have clearly understood the electoral advantage they can derive from this theme. Hence the series of measures on their agenda. While they don’t define a very coherent educational project for who will be the future president, some of them draw attention. 20 minutes sifted through.

Downsizing, Consensus

In France, the lower classes are overcrowded (22 students on average), making individual education and assistance to students with difficulties impossible. Hence the idea that the candidates share to reduce the workforce. Emmanuel Macron (LREM), who during his five-year term launched the split of classes in priority education in the major section, CP and CE1, wants to extend it from CE2 to CM2. Other candidates want to reduce the number of students in all institutions, not just in REP, such as Jean Lassalle (Resist!), who does not put forward a grade. Jean-Luc Mélenchon (LFI) wants him to limit the number of students from CE2 to CM2 to 19, Philippe Poutou (NPA) to 20 in all classes and 15 in the small part. As for Marine Le Pen (RN), she wants to limit the classes to 20, by generalizing duplication to all major Section and CP classes.

“The school needs to better personalize the courses, especially as it welcomes more and more disabled children and because the level of the students varies a lot,” explains Guillaume Prévost, general representative of VersLeHaut, a think tank dedicated to youth and education. † Reducing class sizes is a solution often advocated by education experts. It also has the advantage of being very readable for parent tuners.”

Increasing teaching hours in certain disciplines, for some a common thread

“France’s results in international studies (Pisa, Timms, etc.) are disappointing, especially in mathematics, where they continue to fall. Hence the will of the candidates to tackle the root of the problem by teaching more hours in the fundamental disciplines”, explains Guillaume Prévost. This is the case of Valérie Pécresse (LR) who has two hours of French and an extra hour of math per week in primary school, of Nicolas Dupont-Aignan (Debout la France), who has French and Mathematics hours every week from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. . Jean-Luc Mélenchon promises him an increase in French hours (from 9 to 15 hours per week), while Fabien Roussel (PCF) wants to increase school time to 27 hours per week (from 24 today).

The students also get too little exercise, according to several candidates. Starting with Emmanuel Macron (LREM), who recommends 30 minutes of sport a day, then Anne Hidalgo, who wants to “significantly increase the number of hours of EPS in the school course”. A focus on sport that Guillaume Prévost explains doubly: “Not only is childhood obesity increasing, especially among children from disadvantaged backgrounds, as a result of a sedentary lifestyle and massive exposure to screens. But the health crisis has also had a major impact on children’s physical activity.

Art education is also honored by Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who wants to develop it “in particular by tripling the number of artist residencies in schools”. And by Anne Hidalgo, who promises “a great program of art education at school”. “In France, academic results are highly valued, but skills in other areas are very little valued. While this is the case, for example, in the United States. Hence the idea, rather on the left, to open up the school more to artistic disciplines”, says Guillaume Prévost.

Helping students in difficulty, an emergency for some

To raise the level, because France is the champion of educational inequalities, Valérie Pécresse (LR) wants academic support based on a “national educational reserve” made up of retired teachers and students. Yannick Jadot and Jean-Luc Mélenchon are committed to reactivating specialized support networks for students in difficulty (Rased). Nicolas Dupont-Aignan (Debout la France) wants him to restore “a reasoned practice of repetition to give children in difficulty the opportunity to acquire or consolidate the base, especially in CP”.

Proposals that underline the differences in doctrines, according to Guillaume Prévost. “Candidates on the left prefer the resource approach, while those on the right prefer the organizational approach. The latter do not want to create jobs, but optimize the functioning of the school or call on external help”.

Changing rhythms, an idea gently conjured up

Marine Le Pen (RN) wants to extend the teaching days from one hour to one and a half hours. But the boldest proposal in this area comes from Yannick Jadot, who wants to better articulate and balance fundamental knowledge during the day and spend more time on practical knowledge, nature, culture, sports, handicrafts,” he explains. The cross† To do this, he is considering a revision of the school calendar: “I do not rule out shortening the duration of holidays, especially those in summer,” he says.

“Jadot is the candidate most advocating for educational reform. He refers to several studies that show that the school day is too long for students and does not match their biological rhythm. But his criticism of the school calendar remains moderate, because he knows the subject is divisive. And he remembers the failure of Vincent Peillon’s reform of the school timetables”, analyzes Guillaume Prévost.

Insisting on discipline, a fad for some

Each campaign shows measures in this area. Several candidates therefore want the return of the Ciotti (2010) law, which provided for the suspension of child benefits for parents of absent or disruptive students. This is the case of Marine Le Pen, Nicolas Dupond-Aignan, Valérie Pécresse and Eric Zemmour. And some go even further, such as Eric Zemmour (Reconquête!) with his reintegration boarding schools for excluded pupils, Valérie Pécresse who wants to send the latter “to school reintegration structures, with enhanced supervision”, and Nicolas Dupont-Aignan in specialized boarding schools with increased security measures.

Old Moon too, the return of the uniform that Marine Le Pen and Eric Zemmour advocate. “We see these ideas re-blooming, which refer to father-style school because they appeal to everyone. But most of these measures are simplistic and unrealistic. They do not meet the need to support families in dealing with school problems. are right-wing markers that aim to send signals to a particular electorate.I think these are more demonstration measures than real proposals likely to be introduced after the election,” said Guillaume Prévost.

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