Amélie Oudéa-Castera gave up her place at the Ministry of Education this Thursday, February 8 to Nicole Belloubet. However, it retains the Ministry of Sports and the Olympic Games. She only stayed at Rue de Grenelle for 28 days, a record for a Minister of Education under the Fifth Republic. It was a catastrophic first speech which caused everything to go wrong.
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Amélie Oudéa-Castera has been Minister of Sports and the Olympic Games since May 2022. On January 11, the executive added the big portfolio of Education to its already heavy purse, causing some grumbling among teachers, who fear a mid-term minister. -time, six months before the Olympics.
Teachers and their unions also doubt her room for maneuver: education is the favorite subject of Emmanuel Macron and Gabriel Attal, who preceded her in this ministry.
Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, however, stands out as a ” good student “ of the government, is appreciated by the Ministry of Sports and assures that it wants to be “minister thoroughly”.
But just a few hours after his appointment, this is a misstep. A misstep that will ruin his entire journey on rue de Grenelle. During her first trip to a college in Andrésy in Yvelines, she was questioned about the education of her three sons in the prestigious Parisian private school Stanislas.
The minister then invokes “lots of hours not seriously replaced” at the Littré public school in the center of Paris where his eldest child briefly attended school.
“Lunar remarks, social separatism”: the outcry is immediate among the unions and the left who sharply criticize the minister, considered a bit elitist.
This attempts to clear mines the next day. Speaking to AFP, she said “regret having hurt certain teachers”.
The fire starts again
But on Sunday, the fire started again. In Releasethe kindergarten teacher who briefly had the minister’s eldest son denies having been absent.
The following Tuesday, Ms. Oudéa-Castéra went to the Littré school. And as his publicist warned the press, journalists flocked, while demonstrators welcomed him to boos.
Also read: Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, Minister of National Education and Sports
“Drifts” and “abnormal” remuneration
A new front opens: Mediapart revealed a report from the General Inspectorate of National Education on the private Catholic establishment Stanislas, where the minister’s children are educated, which relates “drifts” especially homophobic.
Médiapart then reveals that Amélie Oudéa-Castéra promoted a private school outside of a contract which notably welcomes young athletes when she was Minister of Sports, and supported this school’s request to enter into a contract with the State. “It is normal that discussions could have taken place on this file within the framework of his functions”then reacted the minister’s entourage.
In the meantime, a parliamentary report singles out the minister for her remuneration deemed “abnormal” during her stint as general director of the French Tennis Federation (FFT).
Resignation of the rector
After the teachers, the unions and the defenders of public schools, it is the administration which weakens it even more: one of the highest executives of National Education, the rector of Paris, resigns. An extremely rare decision. He thus intends to protest against the ministry’s decision to establish a “moratorium” on part of his reform of Parisian prep classes, intended to introduce more social diversity.
A teachers’ strike on February 1, planned for a long time, is proving more mobilizing than expected. A second strike, Tuesday, takes place in colleges, against the reforms of the “shock of knowledge” supposed to raise the level of students, announced by Gabriel Attal when he was Minister of Education. With in particular the establishment of level groups in French and mathematics in 6th and 5th grade classes, a provision criticized by some teachers.
Disconnected and awkward?
For a long time, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra seemed to benefit from the support of President Emmanuel Macron. Publicly, deputies and other politicians from the majority give lip service to her. Under cover of anonymity, they sharply criticize his clumsiness, his “disconnect”her lack of political sense and judge her “burnt”.