“An urgent measure” for unions

On Wednesday, the Minister of Education, Jean-Michel Blanquer, announced the return of mathematics to the common core of high school students at Première and Terminale, from the start of the next school year. Since baccalaureate reform in 2019, math is no longer taught to all high school students. Students who chose the math specialty followed a four -hour per week course. For others, only “scientific education”, which combines physics, science and terrestrial life and mathematics, is given two hours per week.

“We’ve already done everything we can to organize the system for the next school year, with 3.5 hours of science and math in the common core for those who don’t do specialty science education,” Jean-Michel Blanquer said in RTL Wednesday. In recent months, calls have increased to return math to the mainstream curriculum.

Emmanuel Macron even made a campaign commitment for his re-election. In mid-March, a report submitted by the government pleaded to add from next September 1h30 to 2 hours of math to the timetable of non-specialist high school students. Realizing, this announcement made by the press shocked the teaching unions, three months before the start of the school year.

“Lack of respect for students”

“We can only be content with the fact of adding mathematics to the program for all students, but it will speed up over time,” said judge Sébastien Planchenault, president of the Association of Mathematics Teachers in Public Education (APMEP). thoughtful, more rational. “We consider this an urgent measure that has contributed to the deterioration of a failed reform”, said Alexis Torchet, national secretary of the General Union of National Education Sgen-CFDT.

Second -year students, who will be the first to be affected by this reform, are already making their special wish. “We support students, families, we’ve been working on these options since the beginning of the year, so it’s hard to change the rule of the road. It’s a lack of respect for students, families and the community. to teach, ”considered Olivier Beaufrere, national secretary of Snpden-Unsa, the management staff union.

No details were provided by the ministry on how math was calculated for the baccalaureate, or the impact that this return to the common core had on the options for Superior. “We already have parents wondering if, because math has a common core, it is necessary for their child to choose a math specialty. It presents difficulties in terms of orientation and establishment leaders struggle to respond, “observes Alexis Torchet.

An unbalanced common core

They all, however, point to the need to change the area of ​​math and science in high school students ’programs. “The common core is not very balanced between the content of science and the content of literature and human science, analyzes Alexis Torchet. We consider it necessary to change all the content of the common core”. The unions want a real reflection, with an implementation at the start of the school year in 2023. in a hurry that no reason can do, ”Oliver Beaufrere lamented.

Especially since the purposes of this mathematics education are unclear. “At 1h30, we need to allow students to get back into teaching math, let them have enough background for understanding the world and this teaching should also be enough to follow the complementary math option last year, based on the four -hour first year specialty program. It’s insolvent, ”Sébastien Planchenault pointed out.

Lack of math teachers

Especially if another problem arises. Schools suffer from a severe shortage of math teachers. According to figures from the last Capes, the teacher competition, 816 candidates qualified in math for 1,035 open positions. “There is great concern. Recruitment is already difficult in the current arrangement. We risk not having teachers that match expectations, or else we will have to devote a lot of time away from other lessons, ”Oliver Beaufrere analyzes.

“We need a real policy related to the recruitment of teachers to meet the needs: salary increases, scholarships to support students to pass the competition, improve the image of the profession itself, believes Sébastien Planchenault. But since there is no sustainable solution, in the short term, it will mean overtime for math teachers and hiring contract workers, with the risk of no teaching. High quality “. In front of the press, the school’s director general of education, Edouard Geffray, wanted to assure: “students have a teacher in front of them at the next start of the school year”.

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