The Minister of Education, Jean-Michel Blanquer, is launching a consultation committee on the teaching of maths in high school, in order to “list the remarks” and come up with “realistic and effective scenarios for improving” the offer. of this teaching, according to a letter sent to the staff. Teachers have been alarmed for several years by a drop in the number of young people in Première and Terminale taking this subject, especially among girls.
Since the high school reform, which put an end to the traditional series (L, ES and S) in 2019, maths has been taught as a specialty, outside of the common core. They are no longer compulsory from Première, and can be followed as a specialty (there are three of them in Première, two in Terminale) or with the “complementary mathematics” option in Terminale. At the beginning of February, Jean-Michel Blanquer had estimated that it would “probably” be necessary to add mathematics to the common core of Première and Terminale.
First meetings “from next week”
In a letter sent Thursday evening to teachers, inspectors and rectors, of which AFP obtained a copy, the minister explains that he is launching a consultation. “It is to better listen to the various expressions and have the broadest and most objective vision possible that I have decided to set up a committee of experts responsible for conducting a large series of hearings in the coming weeks. all interested parties,” he wrote. Since the beginning of February, the associations of mathematics teachers have been asking to be received urgently.
This committee will endeavor to establish a complete report on the situation of mathematics within the new general high school
For this consultation, the Minister says he is aiming “in the first place the associations of teachers of mathematics, as well as those of other disciplines according to appreciation, those of physics-chemistry and sciences and life of the earth in particular, the learned societies of mathematics and of science, the representative organizations of staff, the representatives of the various higher education bodies, and of course the representatives of the pupils and those of the pupils’ parents”. “The first meetings can be held next week,” he says. According to him, “this committee will endeavor to establish a complete report on the situation of mathematics within the new general high school, to list the remarks and proposals, and to provide me with realistic and effective scenarios for improving the offer of teaching mathematics”.
“What leeway? »
In an interview with Les Échos this Friday, Jean-Michel Blanquer affirms that “certain developments are possible from the start of the next school year, others will have to wait until 2023”. “Among the immediate objectives could be the idea of encouraging even more girls to choose the mathematical specialty in first”, he hoped.
“While the back-to-school preparation operations are almost finalized, what is the real room for maneuver of this committee? “asked in a press release the Snes-FSU, the first secondary union. According to him, “it is first and foremost a political, even politician, response to try to offload the cumbersome burden of the true assessment of the reform of the high school, a few days before the entry into the campaign of the president-candidate Macron”.
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