The French National High School Students Union (Union Nationale Lycéenne), Member of OBESSU, wants to rebalance the society to empower equality, and pregressive values such as feminism, ecologism and antiracism. UNL claims that the youth's place has to be reconsidered.
UNL launched a survey among its constituency in order to understand the different situations experienced by school students in confinement. They are lots of inequalities (conditions of housing, having to take care of siblings, possession of a computer, lack of internet connexion, deaths in the family due to Covid-19) ; all this aspects have an impact on our studies and on our high school diploma (Baccalauréat in France). Contrary of what the French government said, the country was not ready to provide remote access to education. We have to denounce that fact and ask for a fast response to determine appropriate assessment measures. The online survey received 2.560 answers.
A high school reform that increases inequalities:
Education and Youth Minister, Jean-Michel Blanquer, reformed secondary education and established 12 areas of specialisation (which are not all presents in every high school). Depending on what high school you are attending, you do not have the same possibilities of learning. This reform forms an opaque system for both pupils and teachers. The pupils have to choose their orientation earlier and without being properly helped. This reforms has created "campuses of excellence" which are increasing inequalities and the most affected are marginalised school students.
A democratic deny at the cost of the school community
Teachers' freedom of speech has nearly been destroyed since Jean-Michel Blanquer is
Minister of Education and Youth. He wants to pubish those who undermine the reputation of public services and he is about to prohibit any forms of political criticism in education. The right to freedom of thought of educational institutions is endangered. This reforms has been established without constulting school students who are the first concerned. Our voice was not heard by the General Education Inspection. There were a lot of mobilisations in december 2018 and january-february 2020, but the Education Ministry continued pretending to be deaf and blind. This demonstrations occasioned a lot of repression, as we saw it in Mantes-la-Jolie or in High Schools as Desfontaines in Melle or Montesquieu in Bordeaux.
Huge difference in living and learning conditions of school students in lockdown:
- 83 % of the pupils are lockdown with their siblings (often 2). It is worrisome because of the need to have a peacefull space to study. Around 1 couple on 10 who have children live in a small flat (mostly in Ile-De-France, PACA and “priority” districts);
- 15 % of the pupils were confined without their parents;
- 1 in 2 does not have its own computer;
- More than 12 % of respondents do not have access to internet in their home. Online classes are irregularly followed by 65 % of the pupils and 14 % of them did not have any online classes.
- 1 pupil in 4 does not have a link with his high school;
- only 14 % of respondents feel supported by their teachers. 71 % of pupils had to work on their classes alone and 35 % have received help from their family.
- In this period we see a growing solidarity between pupils, with sharing of knowledge between students.
- 61 % of pupils did not keep a regular work rhythm.