Pap Ndiaye: Is the Minister of National Education about to go?


It is with reluctance that the Macronists agree: in the Ministry of National Education, Pap Ndiaye is struggling to convince. And the disappointment is bitter. Because the highly symbolic appointment of a reassuring academic to an embittered teaching body by his predecessor, Jean-Michel Blanquer, brought hope. But among those close to Emmanuel Macron, we trust: the historian does not receive the congratulations. To the point that his government future seems compromised.

“Fight to get the job”, a friend of the Head of State decides. However, he has made education, like healthcare, a priority in his mandate. To lead the “cultural revolution” who aspires to the school, is Pap Ndiaye, appointed in May, the right minister? Emmanuel Macron, today, in doubt. The normalien, he, invokes Victor Hugo to portray himself “gardener of human intelligence” : “There is a growing season. Education is a lot of time. »But in the meantime, politicians and representatives of the educational world are stuck “It’s hard to see where the fundamental difference is for the school”to hold. , believes the deputy Insoumis – and former teacher – Alexis Corbière. Jean-Rémi Girard, president of the National Union of High Schools and Colleges, adds: “We don’t necessarily know what vision he has…”

Pap Ndiaye owns his “sobriety”

The interested party, responsible for the State’s first budget, believes for his part that he has repeatedly exposed his three areas of work: “The level of pupils, the combination in the school, the school system, including the recruitment, the missions and the salaries of the teachers” , he repeats. Without marking the spirits. “He’s very absent”, considers a heavyweight of the Renaissance, when a government adviser gets angry for not having “No one to politically bring the budget increase of 4,000 million euros, and say: “Look what we have done!” »

The accused assumes his “sobriety” : “There is no single way of doing things in political life. I guess I won’t be in permanent media coverage. I focus on substantive work and that is how we best serve the interests of the school and the students. »And he sure brags about these investments “with struggle”in each of his trips.

Because this specialist in American history is respected for his expertise and acclaimed for his sense of dialogue, the disaffected seem almost to be looking for excuses. All hail an intellectual ” Respect to “, according to Alexis Corbière. WHO “seek consensus” , praises an elected Renaissance. And this ” he is more attentive to the unions than his predecessor” , acknowledges Guislaine David, co-secretary general of SNUipp-FSU, the first primary school union. Diagnosis of an executive advisor: “After the Blanquer years, it was essential to appease the teachers. At this point, operation successful. »

He ate a K.-O. from the beginning and I can’t get over it

Insufficient, notice together Macronie, the oppositions and the unions. Everyone recognizes that piloting the liner on the rue de Grenelle is complex, especially for a political novice. Difficult to accept, however, for a president who considers this precisely his mission: to transform the “mammoth”against “the corporatisms” whom he usually punishes. “A minister must be above all an administrative head: ‘I want, you do it'” insists a close friend of Macron.

And Ndiaye would be, sums up an elected official, “much less comfortable than the president with the concept of ‘autonomy'” educational equipment, but one of the key points of “The school of the future” what does the head of state intend to build… “It’s a great thing, the minister denies. But we have to find a balance between grassroots projects and national leadership. »

Others point “Not a big entourage.” His cabinet is led by Jean-Marc Huart, former director of school education from 2017 to 2019 under Jean-Michel Blanquer, whom he remained close to… and whom many suspect has obstructed the minister. “My office is very good,answers Pap Ndiaye. Jean-Marc Huart was perhaps close to my predecessor. Now it is close to me. »

For many, the author of The black condition (Gallimard, 2009) was mainly marked by the demand for “wokism” presented by the far right upon its arrival. “He ate a K.-O. from the beginning and I can’t get over it” , laments a regular at the Élysée. A member of the Renaissance trusts: “I feel especially very unhappy with his work. »If he swears to find his happiness there, the fifty-year-old admits it: “This shocked me. We did not come out of this violence completely unscathed, especially with a very strong racist dimension.”

What the hell was he going to do in this mess?

The most daring objective is the responsibility of the head of state, who bluntly erases his minister during one of his first trips, in June to Marseille, and ignores his warnings, a few moments before on the plane. And then he declines his educational policy in front of the rectors… on the eve of the historian’s first press conference. Last episode: Brigitte Macron’s departure for the school uniform, while the minister is against it.“Having the attention and support of the president is an asset!dodge Pap Ndiaye. Every day, he trusts me and leaves my hands free. »

It remains that it is not imposeds. “One gets the impression of a minister in the shadow, literally and figuratively, of the president” , judge Sophie Vénétitay, general secretary of the Snes-FSU. It is no coincidence, for the Macronists. “The president did not want to bring more powerful people into his government” , finds a Renaissance setting. because’ “He wants to be at the forefront of health and education, we analyze the government. It takes civil society ministers who don’t print, who do the work of internally managing the public. » With a nuance: the head of state says he is very satisfied with Pap Ndiaye’s counterpart in Health, François Braun.

Eight months after his first steps, Alexis Corbière wonders, paraphrasing Molière:“What the hell was I going to do in this mess?”The most optimistic are counting on future salary increases for teachers – consultations have just opened on Wednesday – to reactivate it. But unions expect a showdown. And for some, like this chosen Renaissance, the academic is already doomed:“I don’t understand someone who wants to stay on the job for the entire five-year term. »If no one dares to set his resignation date, everyone judges him already in the process of reorientation.

Source : Le JDD

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