The management of schools divides the French abroad

The amendment of the deputy of the French from Germany, Central Europe and the Balkans, creating a management committee for schools under the direct control of the AEFE within the agency, divides the community of French people from foreign. This was filed at the National Assembly and adopted at first reading before being challenged in the Senate, but Frédéric Petit (MODEM) has not said his last word.

More transparent school management

The amendment therefore proposes to divide the control tools of the different missions united within the AEFE. Frédéric Petit ensures that the cohesion of the agency’s global policy is preserved, while allowing the creation of accounts specific to the management of EGDs and thus separating the management of the national and international missions of the AEFE from that of its establishments. .

As we remind Boris Faurewho represents the UNSA union on the board of directors of the AEGE and who is also a journalist for Lesfrancais.press, ” today the management dialogue is in a triangle: the authorizing officer or his delegate, i.e. the Principal or the Secretary General, the accountant in Nantes who checks the regularity of expenditure, and finally the Administrative and Financial Department the AEFE which, for the EGDs, exercises a more penetrating control role. »

It is this device which remains opaque for the parents but also for the Court of Auditors, which alerted the public authorities, which Frédéric Petit wants to review, for the sake of transparency, but also to include the parents of pupils, who bear in mind heavy tuition fees while having only 2 seats on the Board of Directors of the AEFE.

Rejection of unions

On the side of the unions of teachers and administrative staff, it is an outcry that has been triggered since last week. For them and in particular the UNSA, which answered our questions via its delegateAdrien Guinemerthe parents of pupils are already represented in the school councils in the field as well as on the board of directors of the agency, among others. Thus, they would already be sufficiently represented in the supervisory bodies of the approved school network outside France.

Strengthening their presence would therefore be perceived as the general implementation of the principle of “paying parents” and therefore decision-makers. While for the unions, parents are neither pedagogical specialists nor a fortiori budgetary specialists, the Petit amendment would therefore be purely ideological according to them.

“It’s an ideological position that reflects MP Petit’s obsession with weakening the current system despite the opposition of all players in the field: education and the management of establishments must be managed by people whose responsibility it is. the job. Mr. Petit would have every interest in getting better informed without a priori on the functioning of the public education service. »

Adrian Guinemer, Project Manager “Outside France” AEFE, MLF, MEAE – treasury, digital, communication.

Regarding the management of the agency, theUNSA reminds us that she is subject to strict control since its budget and its accounts for the year are approved by the board of directors, as are the budgets of the EGDs presented to the establishment council and which are aggregated in the single accounts of the agency. Transparency is therefore the rule. »

Parents wonder

While we expected massive support from the parents of students, they remain circumspect. Not consulted by the deputy Frédéric Petit, the parents’ associations, including the new movement UNAPEask themselves about the true origin of this amendment » and on the real impact on the mode of operation of institutions under direct management (EGD).

The distribution of positions within this new management committee also questions the parents of students. In the text of the deputy Petit, it is planned that 60% of the “voting rights” go to the AEFE and the unions of teachers and administrative staff, while 25% would be reserved for the associations of parents of students. But “What about the remaining 15%? Who are they and on what basis will they be selected and funded? », wonders Sabri Khelifthe president of UNAPE.

Another concern of parents, in any case those who have chosen to put their children in an establishment directly managed by the AEFE, as can be compared to public establishments in France, except that they are paying, would be the privatization of network. But isn’t it already done? With 68 EGDs out of more than 500 establishments throughout the world, public service management is already in the minority. The separation of the management of the EGDs from the management of the policy of approval and animation of the network by the AEFE would rather allow to establish an equality of treatment between the establishments.

Teacher training affected by this reform

The other consequence denounced by the teachers’ unions is the control over the training of future teachers recruited locally. As we know, the AEFE’s budget is not infinitely expandable and to meet the objectives set by the government by 2030, i.e. doubling the number of students compared to 2017, Senator Samantha Cazebonne has adopt in 2021 an amendment creating the Regional Training Institutes (IFR).

The latter, whose deployment is underway, despite underfunding, will have the difficult task of training French people from abroad but also other French speakers in the methods and programs found on French territory. That’s the theory! Because the text provides that these IFRs be placed under the control of the EGDs and financed by them. The concern of the teaching body is that through the management committee, the parents can influence the training courses and therefore ultimately the school programs but also the values ​​transmitted by these new teachers.

“I am a parent of a student. what would be my added value to decide on the training of math teachers? Because I pay for my children to go to school? »

Asks Boris Faure, UNSA representative on the AEGE Board of Directors, and journalist for Lesfrancais.press and SUD Radio.

A situation that embarrasses some of Mr. Petit’s allies, as Senator Cazebonne said in a Telegram group dedicated to elected officials “Together! or Renaissance, MODEM and AGIR, that she would abstain in the event of a solemn vote in the Senate.

What future for this amendment?

If the amendment irritates the teachers, does not completely satisfy the parents of students, it still responds to the imperatives of modernity as claimed the Court of Auditors.

It also has the merit of isolating the budget of establishments, largely financed by parents and local authorities, from the rest of the AEFE’s budget envelope. Currently, the funds paid by the French State, the subsidies of the States or local authorities of the countries where the EGD are established, such as school fees, are paid directly into the Parisian accounts of the AEFE. And as provided for in the public accounts to which the agency is currently subject, the available assets are used for all of the AEFE’s missions.

Missions therefore related to EGD, but also missions of prospecting, communication, approval of new establishments, which go far beyond the framework of schools and are often the source of deficits. With the Petit amendment, the two functions of the AEFE would be isolated in terms of accounts and would thus preserve the funds paid by the parents of pupils and the other public authorities.

It is on this principle that the conviction of deputy Frédéric Petit on the relevance of his amendment is based. And as he told us, despite the rejection by the Senate committee, the legislative process of the amendment is not over. Thus, Frédéric Petit decided to submit the amendment for proofreading in the National Assembly as provided for by the “parliamentary shuttle” system specific to our constitution. Presumably, it is in December that the text will come back before the deputies. If adopted, it would be final, the National Assembly taking precedence over the Senate, and the AEFE like the EGDs would have one year to prepare for this upheaval provided for by the amendment on January 1, 2024.

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The management of schools divides the French abroad