The health crisis has made digital technology an absolute necessity, highlighting the shortcomings and shedding light on the central issue of digital sovereignty. But how can we talk about sovereignty without ambitious National Education in this area, without preparing the citizens of tomorrow for good practices? We do not believe that National Education is a public market like others. The future government needs to make an ambitious and followed policy, it is a priority.
Two years of Covid drastically changed our habits, imposing digital tools into our daily lives. Suddenly, the impossible becomes necessary, society organizes itself, companies adapt, institutions adapt. National Education, this large liner said to be very difficult to maneuver, is embarking on an initial transformation: between March and June 2020, 164,000 virtual classes were organized on average per day (according to in the Ministry of National Education).
Are we ready to sell our national education?
This period left a lasting mark on the minds of teachers, families and students; a decisive stone has already been laid, the iron must be beaten while it is hot. But clearly beyond rhetoric and ambition, we are still struggling to achieve a sustainable digital education policy. Plans, projects follow each other without succeeding in accelerating change.
Of course, the digital transition is difficult to plan for in our education system. But if the unthinkable can meet the need, it is always the strongest actors who will benefit from it; those who have everything to gain from the opening of a new captive and unconstituted market. And in the digital and digital education sector, GAFAs have already carved out a lion’s share … *
Are we really ready to hand over our children’s digital education to non-European players, driven by the desire for a new market? Are we ready to sell our national education, which France has always viewed as almost a sovereign pillar? The health crisis has created a new vertigo in France’s reliance on other countries. And will we agree to restore this confidence to the level of our education? How do we talk about digital sovereignty?
Beware of big challenges
The health crisis has shown that the State can find quick, simple and effective solutions, by joining forces with French ETI and SME in balanced, trusting relations. The sector is ready: the dynamism of French EdTech is well established. It is up to the State to move, so that digital education can be the first pillar of our sovereignty.
The younger generation needs to be trained in the right use, in the right tool; they get used to working with reliable actors, in an educational way; actors who have invested in the republican school and reinforced its fundamental principles thanks to digital technology (various pedagogy, new media, etc.); the actors are aware of the major challenges (ilectronism, digital divide, etc.), and seek to address them.
Teacher training is required
The newly re-elected President of the Republic has announced that his mandate will be carried out in a ‘new approach’. And if, in the end, the approach unites the five -year priorities of digital education?
Let’s start with the requirements: let’s train our teachers, because they are the transmission belt of knowledge, the enlightened hussars of sovereignty policy that we need to do. They are, every day in the field, able to adapt teaching methods, but also and above all, the critical spirit of youth. Let us give them the promises of our trust, let us not leave them alone to face this great task, let us return to them the letters of honor due to them, for they are the ones who prepare our common fate.