Ndiaye announces “big consultation” on school to better implement counter-reforms

Photo credits: REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

This Tuesday, June 14, at the close of the Council of Ministers, the new Education Minister Pap Ndiaye announced a ” good consultation at the school from the beginning of the school year in September and the end of 2022.

Heralded during the presidential election campaign as one of the big projects of Macron’s second five-year term, the offensive against education workers therefore sees its first timetable outlined. If the method is new, according to the formula Macron has repeated since his re-election, the policy remains exactly the same: scrapping public education and privatizing education.

A “new method” for the same policy in the continuity of Blanquer

Pap Ndiaye’s appointment was to embody a change of method for the macronia compared to an authoritarian Blanquer who had crystallized the wrath of educators. His arrival at the ministry was precisely to make commitments to make people believe in a change of tone in an attempt to reconcile unions and educators, following heated disputes during Blanquer’s ministry, culminating in the historic January 13 strike. .

A return to the “social dialogue” that is not limited to education, but which Macron wants to generalize, such as the creation of the ” National Restoration Council This recourse to intermediaries – which Macronism had hitherto made a specialty of trampling – is explained by the vulnerabilities and contradictions of this second five-year term, characterized by weak legitimacy and a narrow social base, in a difficult economic context.

Ndiaye announces a “field” dialogue in this sense, in the form “debate, decentralized exchanges, in all schools, so that teachers, parents of students, administrative and management staff and other actors in local life can reflect on their schoolthe minister specified, with a will to break on the form.

But if the packaging changes, the social war program that Macron has mapped out during his campaign will remain unchanged, as Macron and his minister Ndiaye said in unison during their trip to Marseille.

In this sense, the main aim of the consultation announced by Ndiaye is to better implement counter reforms through the appearance of exchanges, without hitting the bottom. For example, the minister explained that the “pact with teachers” will set the framework for negotiations: a “pact” that Macron declared last March as the cornerstone of the sector’s liberalization.

In this sense, if the minister voluntarily remained very vague about the next attacks, two themes that were evoked illustrate the coming offensive: the question of wages and that of contracting.

Behind the pseudo ads about salaries, breaking status

In line with Blanquer’s language elements at the end of the previous five-year term, Ndiaye dared to affirm that he “continue[vre] the re-evaluation of teachers, started in the second part of the previous five-year term”, even if staff living standards have deteriorated significantly – all the more so in a context of runaway inflation. And that the very low wages in education are the product of a deliberate policy based on freezing the index point and making the sector precarious.

The upgrade, the minister hastened to add, will remain subject to a number of conditions, the most important of which is the introduction of earnings: “better recognize the commitment of every teacher, but also rethink dynamics and career development” according to Ndiaye – “as part of the pact with teachers”† A measure that therefore puts a real question mark on its status, as it would have to be accompanied by the introduction of different index rosters and therefore a violation of equal treatment, as Macron argued last March.

It is therefore at a high cost that teachers must pay this pseudo-salary increase, which is nothing more or less than a variation of “work more to earn more”, and a way of making the damage to status and circumstances acceptable. of work.

The promise of increasing insecurity and worsening working conditions

As such, the continuation of the policy of making education precarious has been passed by Pap Ndiaye, who has tried to justify it in the name of the “shortage” of teachers.“We rely on contract teachers to respond to calamities” thus confirmed the minister who intends to continue the policy of contracting.

However, this “deficit” has been organized by successive governments and in particular the Blanquer reforms. Such as, on the one hand, the reform of the educational competitions with the direct consequence of a reduction in the number of potential candidates for the competition (since it is now necessary to have validated at least a Master 1 MEEF to participate in the competition) and an increased uncertainty of the sector as students in MEEF are now allocated 8 hours of courses with responsibility for very low salaries of €693 to €980 net per month, and form a pool of poorly paid teachers, without any guarantee of permanent employment this remains linked to success in the competition. On the other hand, through deteriorating working conditions and a deregulation of teachers’ salaries in the private sector, triggering a creeping process of privatization.

Beyond the progressive veneer, a continuity in the ideological struggle

And as Pap Ndiaye embraces the neoliberal policies of breaking education and the ruthless management methods that come with it, the threads of continuity also exist in the aspect of the ideological struggle.

Trademark of Blanquerism, the ideological struggle with condemnation in Islamo-leftism, articulated with a repressive policy aimed at an upbringing borrowed from the extreme right that is ‘in line’, finds its successor in Ndiaye. Thus, in addition to the progressive veneer that he had to embody, the new minister supported the repression carried out by his predecessor, such as Pasteur’s six professors, who were transferred by force, or his support for the repression of the two professors “singers” .

When asked about “Islamic outfits” at school, the new battleground of the Islamophobic offensive, Ndiaye was content to refer to the need to measure the phenomenon. “We need to assess the phenomenon on a national scale”“collect and report a certain amount of information”said the minister.

It is therefore in the perfect continuity of Blanquer and in the service of a liberalization of education that Pap Ndiaye is enrolled. If the vague promises of salary increases and consultations are intended to entice the sector to better implement reforms, the scale of the attacks announced by Macron requires a battle plan befitting, far from the illusions of social dialogue.

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