Mandela School: “For us the struggle continues” / Early childhood, childhood and youth / News

Published on 11.05.2022

For several weeks, the parents of the Mandela School students have been mobilizing to integrate the establishment into the Priority Education Network (REP). A movement supported by teachers and the mayor of Saint-Herblain, Bertrand Affilé.

This Friday, May 13, dozens of parents and teachers from the Mandela School will pick up in the Petit-Port district of Nantes. There, in front of the doors of the Rectorate of the Academy, they will say loud and clear what they have been saying loud and clear since 2015: the transfer of the school to the Priority Education Network (REP).

“In 2015, much to the dismay of the then team of teachers and the parents of the REP label, we were withdrawn after the replacement of the old Angevinière school by the Mandela school, recalls Élodie Couturier, representative of the parents of pupils. all the characteristics, especially regarding the poverty rates we have in the district. Integration into REP would give us significant additional resources, which is why we are mobilizing today.”

Silence of the Academic Inspectorate

After a first demonstration on April 10, parents and teachers gathered again in front of the school on May 6. Several letters have since been sent to the Academic Inspectorate.

A published mobilization that forced the Academic Inspectorate to break the silence without giving discharge to the protesters. “They told us that they understood our concerns, but that they could not follow up on our demands because, according to them, we have to wait for the reorganization of the school card, which means we will have to wait at least 3 more years, if Élodie Couturier protests: this is unacceptable , especially because there are other ways to grant us the REP, such as attachment to the Renan* college, which would make sense from a social and educational point of view. So for us the battle continues.”

“Full Support”

However, the restrictions that weigh on the neighbourhood, and therefore on the families of students educated in Mandela, are well known: allophone families, insecurity, overrepresentation of single-parent families… “Mandela has more than thirty nationalities, recalls the mayor, Bertrand Affilé, who stood next to the protesters on May 6, how are you going to give these children, who are leaving significant disadvantage for many, a chance if you don’t give the school the means to educate them? transition to REP is necessary.”

Although the number of students per class is close to (or even more than) 25 students, switching to REP would indeed allow to be limited to 20 and would automatically unlock the duplication of CP and CE1 classes. A switch to REP would also be synonymous financial recognition for the involvement of teachers, much more important for students who are having a hard time at school. And thus, ultimately, to avoid the current turnover of teaching posts, which disadvantages students.

“Since 2015, I have been writing to the Minister or local representatives of National Education to warn of this grotesque situation, recalls the mayor, Bertrand Affilé. But I have never had a response to my letters, otherwise today ends a situation in which parents and teachers feel a great injustice and I understand them perfectly. Therefore they have my full support, and I will be by their side if an appointment is made with the headmaster.”

Meanwhile, students’ parents are already promising other actions if their voices are not heard.

* The school is now affiliated with Gutenberg College

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