One year chases the other, and the results of French schoolchildren in Pisa tests – the international program which assesses the level of students from one country to another – continue to fall. French children have achieved disastrous grades in mathematics and their understanding of written language has also declined.
The Minister of National Education, Gabriel Attal, immediately presented a vast takeover project, under the sign of requirement and effort. Inspired by countries which have obtained a better ranking, it notably recommends tailor-made schooling, according to the needs of each student, by setting up groups of levels. Access to high school will be conditional on obtaining the certificate. The minister promises, all this will be accompanied by the creation of positions essential to the smooth running of the reform.
This is perhaps the announcement that will attract the most attention, when we know the difficulty establishments have in recruiting. Is this not the origin of the evil from which our educational system suffers: a devaluation of the teaching function? The end of the last century will have brought our teachers down from their pedestal to establish a relationship of equality with their students.
But the descent has perhaps gone too far and the status now has nothing to attract: losing authority, poorly paid, decried by certain parents who have a commercial relationship with the school, sometimes insulted by students – see murdered! -, teachers struggle to maintain this sacred fire of transmission.
Before undertaking yet another reform measure, which will only treat the symptoms of academic difficulties, should we not above all revalorize the teaching profession? Grant salaries commensurate with the task, put the personal relationship with students back at the center – by relieving classes – and with parents – by committing to mutual respect and genuine dialogue… So many means that could contribute to recognize, through concrete measures, the eminent place of these knowledge brokers.