FIGAROVOX/INTERVIEW – The academy of Versailles partly recruits its teachers via short oral interviews. Jean-Rémi Girard, president of the SNALC, considers this practice scandalous. According to him, you don’t become a teacher in half an hour.
Jean-Rémi Girard is Chairman of the SNALC (National union of high schools and colleges).
FIGAROVOX. – The Versailles academy recruits contract teachers by giving them half-hour interviews. How does this practice inspire you?
Jean-Remi GIRARD. – The operation of the recruitment of contract workers is scandalous. It should be remembered that these are people who will teach in front of students for one or even several years. Thinking that you can become a teacher in half an hour is something that seems amazing to us. I can’t see myself becoming a veterinarian or a fighter pilot in half an hour, just because I have a cat or because I like to travel by plane. This practice is shocking.
Moreover, it is not new, it is now structural. What is really shocking is to brag about it, to say that it is wonderful. The truth is that we put the recruitment crisis in the public square, the difficulty of having trained teachers and that, consequently, we resolve to take on precarious people for whom we have very few guarantees. Bragging and using marketing language to look modern and to imitate the corporate world is Orwellian.
Why does the National Education have recourse to this type of interview?
She can’t get enough incumbents. The places in the competitions do not all find takers. This is a structural problem, which has clearly worsened this year. For a long time, this only concerned certain secondary school subjects, now the problem also concerns primary school.
It should be noted that a teacher is a category A civil servant, who has Bac+5, almost the finest one can do, and a teacher is paid on average 1000 euros less than another category civil servant Has of the State.
On the other hand, we can also think that, from a budgetary point of view, it is not uninteresting to have teachers who are less well paid, who are more fragile and who have fewer rights. There is the idea that contract workers are more “practical”: they are more flexible and cost less.
Moreover, this very quickly leads to creating a sort of unhealthy competition between teachers who have nevertheless spent five years of study, plus a competition, plus a year of internship and others, who find themselves there, in a week to week. Some start 48 hours after being recruited.
How do you explain the shortage of teachers?
The teaching profession, today, is no longer an attractive profession. It’s a profession that benefits from a fairly degraded image, which is poorly paid for the level of education and compared to other countries comparable to France. It should be noted that a teacher is a category A civil servant, who has Bac+5, almost the highest one can do, and he is paid on average 1000 euros less than another category A civil servant. of State. It is therefore easy to imagine that a discipline such as mathematics is suffering from a recruitment crisis: with a Bac+5 in mathematics, one will not bother to go and do a year of internship paid 1.1 SMIC in difficult conditions when you can find a job that pays double, or even triple, and in which there is no risk of getting a chair in the face.
The risk is that we directly attack the very existence of the competition.
As for the conditions, they are difficult for different reasons. Teachers work more and more. One of the ministry’s statistical surveys shows that the average working time of teachers has increased: we are between 40 and 45 hours of actual work per week. In addition, the size of the classes has increased, the pupils are more and more difficult and the families are also more and more difficult to manage… Combine this with all that we saw at the time of the “no wave ”: teachers constitute a professional category that feels relatively little supported by its hierarchy. There is therefore an explosive cocktail to make the profession no longer attractive.
We see today that our colleagues do not advise their own children to become teachers.
Is this new recruitment system a sign of a drop in the level of teachers? Does it jeopardize the teaching competitions?
The risk is that we directly attack the very existence of the competition. The competition is not perfect but it offers guarantees: in terms of disciplinary control, protection and training. We can still think that it is better to have training and a competition with orals. The orals make it possible to check a certain disciplinary level. The teachers will then teach literature in the final year or complex numbers and integrals.
This is the sign of a general devaluation of certain functions that are nevertheless essential to society: the function of education, the function of care.
It should also be remembered that it is a job where you work with students: it can offer complicated conditions, it’s people working with people. You can’t put just anyone in front of children.
In addition, many contract workers stop quite quickly. Some come because they have an image of Epinal of the teaching profession, but they quickly realize the reality on the ground: it is no more relaxing than their former job as an engineer. Some even find that their experience in National Education is more difficult than their experience in business.
Beyond the case of teachers, should this be seen as a devaluation of the public service?
This is the sign of a general devaluation of certain functions that are nevertheless essential to society: the function of education, the function of care. No society can survive without national education and without a health system. These professions have been attacked, devalued, with a purchasing power that is still falling.
We find ourselves today with crises in areas that should be the areas most valued by the state. We realize that, for short-term budget reasons, these professions, which require a lot of people, are not valued. It would cost too much.
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