The instruments of “civil armament” desired by Emmanuel Macron in schools

Emmanuel Macron had planned to make youth his first axis “civil rearmament” of the nation, and the school undoubtedly took up a large part of the press conference of the President of the Republic on Tuesday January 16th. “Each generation of the French people must learn what the Republic means: its history, its rights, its duties, its language, its imagination, from childhood.”argued the head of state.

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Ultimately, Emmanuel Macron did not so much outline the architecture of a major school project as list a number of different measures, most of which were already known. The head of state raised two new issues, also responding to his stated desire to democratize access to culture. The first is theater as “mandatory transition to college”, Because “It gives self-confidence, teaches oral skills and exposure to great texts”. The second concerns art history “Will find its place” Because “France is also a history, a heritage that is passed on and unites” – The discipline is now the subject of an elective and a specialty in high school and was introduced in middle school in 2009 by Nicolas Sakozy.

The one who made the school his “Reserved domain” also mentioned the founding of “Graduation Ceremonies” in middle and high school, a “Republican Rite of Unity” For “Set standards”. An already existing practice, here too: Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, Minister of National Education under François Hollande, created one in 2016 “Republican National Patent Diploma Award Ceremony”.

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THE “civil rearmament” therefore mainly aggregated measures, which have been sparsely presented for a year now. Mr. Macron recalled in particular the revision of the moral and civic education programs – which he mentioned under the previous name“Citizenship” – whose hourly volume is doubled in middle school from grade 5 onwardse to move to a weekly hour, as announced in June 2023. He also mentioned experimenting with “unique outfit” launched in December, which will and will affect around a hundred areas in 2024 “generalized” in 2026 when the results are available “conclusive”.

Lots of unknowns

From “Generalization” There is also still talk of the Universal National Service (SNU), Mr Macron’s election promise for 2022, which has become a sea serpent for the government. Former SNU State Secretary Sarah El Haïry backed down on expanding the system to 800,000 high school students aged 2 and above in June 2023from and decided that only classes “Volunteers” could attend during school term in 2023-2024. The legislative and logistical obstacles to generalization are numerous, starting with funding: the latter was withdrawn in March 2023 from the military programming law that runs until 2030.

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