Long solid in the post, record longevity in the key, the Minister of National Education Jean-Michel Blanquer knows a complicated end of the five-year term.
His handling of the Covid crisis, and particularly the Omicron wave, has pitted the educational community against him. This Thursday, a strike that promises to be exceptionally followed takes place to denounce the “mess” in schools.
Blanquer is in turmoil. The left-wing opposition is increasing calls for resignation. This Wednesday, the government spokesperson, Gabriel Attal, had to react, assuring that the executive was “very supportive” of his minister. To have…
“His management is as cacophonous as it is arrogant”
Faced with endless lines in front of pharmacies to have schoolchildren tested, Prime Minister Jean Castex himself rose to the board Monday evening to say that three self-tests would now suffice for contact cases. A television passage considered as a “disavowal” or even “a humiliation” (Damian Abad, LR) for Jean-Michel Blanquer by the oppositions and unions.
“Kafka”, “bazaar at the school of the Republic”, “an unnamed brothel”: Tuesday, the minister was shaken as rarely in the Assembly, where a Socialist deputy even asked him if he thought of resigning, as demanded by rebels and the environmental candidate Yannick Jadot.
For his part, the rebellious deputy Alexis Corbière, judged, scathing, in Le Monde: “His management is as cacophonous as it is arrogant. Blanquer has become a drag for Macron ”.
“We do not strike against a virus,” replied the person, right in his boots, calling for “the unity of the Nation around his school”.
“There is no point in pushing it down”: Macronie is united
If it is difficult to imagine his departure from the rue de Grenelle, we recognize within the majority that the star of the former director of Essec has faded.
According to a government source, Jean Castex could receive, in the event of strong mobilization Thursday, the unions of teachers, at the risk of still fueling the trials of placing under supervision.
“There’s no point in pushing it down. We are not going to change ministers within 100 days of the presidential election. But it is not an easy situation “, underlines a heavyweight of the macronie which especially regrets” errors of com “.
Cropped by Macron
Jean-Michel Blanquer was, however, long considered a strong link in the system. To the point of beating in September the longevity record of a Minister of National Education of the Fifth Republic, held since 1967 by Christian Fouchet.
A real small feat in a position deemed difficult where Jean-Michel Blanquer prides himself on having driven the reform of the bac, the duplication of CP and CE1 classes in priority education areas and worked to keep schools open to the maximum despite the Covid.
From now on, he is being reframed, including by the President of the Republic. “I’ll give you the point, it takes more anticipation and more time for the rectorates to communicate with the schools upstream”, replied Emmanuel Macron, in the Parisian, to a teacher who questioned him about the new protocol announced a few hours before the start of the school year, a timing that ulcerated the teachers.
The reports of the Minister of Education with his counterpart of Health, Olivier Véran, are also questioned. According to Le Parisien, “A clash” even again opposed the two men, this Wednesday, on the sidelines of the Council of Ministers.
Véran, however, refuted disagreements, simply conceding “temporalities which may be different” and legitimate “trial and error” in times of crisis.
Herald of the fight against “wokism”
But within the majority, some deplore the directions taken by Jean-Michel Blanquer, 57, beyond the management of the health crisis. In particular his passionate fight against wokism or “Islamo-leftism”, themes dear to the right.
As for the unions, Guislaine David, general secretary of the SNUipp-FSU, describes to AFP a “very strong personality, an ideologue braced on his positions, who does not admit the contradiction”.
“Jean-Michel Blanquer annoys, yes, and for a long time”, concedes a faithful of Emmanuel Macron. “But it will have been the symbol of what the President of the Republic wanted: duration. “