Does an education minister have to enroll his children in mass education?

This is the ransom of infamy. Every action and gesture of the new education minister Pap Ndia is now being verified. Even more so by his detractors, often right-wingers, who condemn his appointment. In a portrait dedicated to him on May 26, Paris match Revealed that Pap Andy’s two children were educated at the Alsatian School in the 6th Arrondissement in Paris. The information was shared on Twitter by Eric Jemur, who saw a conflict between a man fighting against discrimination but who “kept his children in elite schools of private education”.

They were not the only right-wingers to criticize the choice of minister and his partner for their children. What persuaded the journalists Parisian To ask him about this in an interview published on Saturday. Pap Ndiaye mentioned that his children were educated in REP + before staying at Ecole alsacienne. Time to justify his approach: “There are times when a child’s development can be complicated. It is the choice of parents of children for whom, at one time, the conditions of a quiet and happy school were no longer met. ”Words that do not always seem to be well received by priority education teachers.

Not a new debate

Pap Ndia is not the first education minister to be the subject of controversy over his educational preferences. “In 2002, the then Minister of Education, Luke Ferry, announced that his three children had been admitted to a private Catholic school in West Paris. And this, for religious reasons,” recalled education historian Yann Forestier, an expert historian. In was in this position, he said The world Of her six children, “three were in government schools and three were in private schools.”

Most recently, in 2015, Najat Valaud-Belkacem aired on BFMTV : “My kids are obviously educated in public.” He was responding to a controversy started incorrectly by Nicholas Dupont-Agnan, who claimed that his children had been admitted to a private school. Also when asked about these children by Leah Salam during the exit to Grande on February 15, 2018, Jean-Michel Blanker replied: “I have three-quarters of them in public.”

Personal choice or symbolic decision?

So, is the decision of an education minister to send his children to public or private education a personal matter? Or should citizens be brought to notice? Najat Vallaud-Belkacem decided. “What’s in it? There is freedom of education in France. Some people choose to keep their children private and it’s their choice. On behalf of the unions, we are careful about this:” We don’t want to argue about it. ”Says a trade unionist who prefers to remain anonymous, especially since Pap Andy has never been a political figure before and will not de-register his children from the private sector within a year, let alone a few weeks before the summer holidays.

But although they do not want to discuss the issue, and especially to target the new minister, some education actors still point to the symbol: “In principle, we can consider that our political leaders should have the responsibility to set an example by enrolling them. In public education “It’s a way to show that a minister believes in the principles he believes in,” said FCPE President Eric Labsti. Can contribute to strengthening, with the misconception that a child will have better learning conditions in the private sector, ”said the trade unionist.

“We have many more important files on our table”

According to Ian Forster, if the issue is highlighted at the moment, it is mainly because of the surprise of Pap Andy’s appointment: “He is the left guarantor of the new government. His appointment is above all a matter of communication. This information could therefore tarnish the image of the minister, who is further observing at the moment that he has not yet taken real action. And the fact that her children went to Alsatian school proves the impact of the sound board. “This installation has the reputation of being a rich ghetto, a highly protected universe. This indicates the idea that private education is a remedy in the face of public inadequacy. Especially when a child has difficulty attending school, ”the historian continued.

One thing is for sure, according to education observers: these criticisms will end quickly. “There are many more important things on our table. Teachers’ salaries and scholarships in national education are like a crisis, ”the trade unionist underlined. “This information will no longer be disseminated when we are no longer in expectation,” Ian Forster added.

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