“I want to bring the school into the 21st century”

La Croix: You propose to have a “consensus conference” in the form of a national consultation with all stakeholders. Can there really be agreement in school matters?

Yannick Jadot : It’s not about everyone agreeing on everything! But to bet on collective intelligence and education and emancipation by putting knowledge back at the center of the republican pact. We have seen in recent years how badly schools have been treated, with often declining teacher purchasing power, deteriorating working conditions, overcrowded classrooms and too many children in a situation of failure or psychological distress. This meeting – which will be accompanied by job creation and wage increases – should also make it possible to restore the institution. It gives the staff and parents the opportunity to discuss calmly about the teaching methods and new skills to be used… The consensus conference will also make it possible to rethink school time.

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With what purpose?

YJ : It is necessary to better articulate and balance the basic knowledge during the day (reading, writing, arithmetic) and to spend more time on practical knowledge, nature, culture, sports, handicrafts. That also means looking at the contours of the year. I do not exclude the possibility of shortening the duration of the holidays, especially that of the summer holidays, and thus reviewing the service obligations of teachers. All countries that achieve better school results than us have fewer school holidays. But it’s up to this consensus conference and collective bargaining to set the terms.

You prioritize child development over excellence and academic knowledge, some will accuse you. How do you answer them?

YJ : The point is not to reduce the share of fundamental knowledge, but to spread it better over a longer school year. For the rest, I plan to reintroduce mathematics – and life and earth sciences – as independent subjects in the common core in the first and last year. It is imperative to counter the effects of the school reform, which has led to a decline in science professions, especially among girls.

What is terrible in the French system is a form of denial. We lock ourselves in ineffective, even counterproductive logic, focused on the past, sometimes even on the IIIand Republic. Although I had parents who were educated, respected and recognized in our village, I do not dream of going back to the school of the 1960s and 1970s. On the contrary, we need to bring schools into the 21st century.and century and the 21stand century in the school.

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In particular by changing evaluation practices?

YJ : Yes, it is necessary to leave the permanent format. By choosing competition over cooperation, we put such pressure on the students that they feel as if they play their academic success on every note, passing Sciences Po’s grand oral exam every time they speak. The acquisition of knowledge and learning is sanctioned instead of valued… Secondary school in turn has become a pre-selection machine for young people who usually do not yet know what they want to do in life. We would really benefit from building bridges between general, techno and professional routes.

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You plan to hire 65,000 additional teachers. With what purpose?
YJ : In particular, these recruitments should make it possible to reduce the number of students who have become unruly students everywhere, facilitate replacements, free up time to carry out interdisciplinary projects, etc.

You also promise 20% pay increases to teachers, especially in early and mid-career careers. How do you finance this support for education?

YJ : These measures in favor of the school, and more generally the recruitment of 200,000 additional officials, will be financed thanks to the restoration of a real solidarity tax on wealth that will be stronger and more proportional for the 1% of the French who are richer, but also thanks to an increase in inheritance taxes on the largest fortunes, the fight against tax loopholes and tax evasion. So many extra recipes that will restore the Republican promise.

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You want to involve the contractual private sector more in the pursuit of diversity. How?

YJ : I want to introduce a bonus-malus: more resources for the private institutions that play the game, less resources for those who don’t play it. Since these institutions benefit from public funds, I see no reason why they should free themselves from a collective responsibility consisting in the fight against social inequality and house arrest.

What place for religious education in school?

YJ : We need to strengthen education about the history of religions, education about the messages conveyed by religions. Today children are confronted with it in social networks, in their families, and we have to allow them to analyze them in a detached, critical, scientific way. We can find a peaceful way to approach these topics in school.

You want to put an end to Parcoursup, which crystallizes a lot of worries and worries. How to replace this platform?

YJ : Of course I don’t want to go back to a system where you queue for hours to submit your application to the university. No more than the draw that was possible before Parcoursup. But we need to get out of this black box logic, a largely opaque system that leaves tens of thousands of students on the sidelines and benefits those who have digital agility and good relationships. The new device, with a different name, will continue to rely on algorithms, but with more transparency, a hierarchy of wishes by the candidates. Each of them must get a positive answer to at least one of their choices. This also means that we are creating 80,000 to 100,000 extra places at the university to better meet demand.

Are other measures for young people

Reform the school map combat situations of social segregation.

Recruit 2,000 school doctors1,000 social workers and 3,000 nurses.

Open at least two hours a week for acquiring “practical knowledge” in college (DIY, gardening, cooking, etc.).

Give access to an hour of sports per day for students.

Get 100% Organic School Canteens by 2027.

Gradually integrate preparatory lessons to universities.

Pour a citizen incomeautomatically from 18 years (minimum €920).

Extension of the right to child protection for young people aged 18 to 21.