From Mediapart’s revelations to Amélie Oudéa-Castéra’s apologies, we summarize the controversy affecting the Minister of National Education

After revelations from Mediapart on Friday, the minister tried to justify herself by evoking her “frustration” at the “packages of hours” of teaching not replaced during teacher absences in the Parisian public school where her children were educated.

Barely appointed Minister of National Education, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra has been strongly criticized since Friday January 12 for her decision to transfer her children from a public establishment to a private one. After revelations from Mediapart, the member of Gabriel Attal’s government justified herself by denouncing “the bundles of hours which were not seriously replaced” in a public school in the 6th arrondissement of Paris. The opposition and teachers’ unions were quick to criticize these statements. Franceinfo returns to the first controversy affecting the new government.

Mediapart reveals that Amélie Oudéa-Castéra transferred her children from public to private, in Paris

Mediapart published an article on Friday in the middle of the day about Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, promoted the previous evening to Minister of National Education, in addition to her portfolio for Sports and the Paris 2024 Games. According to the website information, the former professional tennis player, who entered the government in 2022, educated her three children at the Stanislas middle school, after having educated them at the Littré public school, located in the very wealthy 6th arrondissement of Paris.

The private Catholic establishment has been targeted since February 2023 by an administrative investigation into accusations of homophobia and sexism, which had been mentioned by several media, including Mediapart and The Express.

The minister justifies her decision by citing her “frustration” with the hours not replaced

In the process, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra responded to Mediapart’s revelations to justify these transfers. His son Vincent “started like his mother at the public school, that of Littré. And then, [il y a eu] the frustration of his parents.” “My husband and I (…) saw lots of hours that were not seriously replaced”justified the minister to the press, during a visit to a college in Yvelines.

Amélie Oudéa-Castéra defends her choice to send her children to the private Stanislas establishment

– ()

“We got fed up, like hundreds of thousands of families”
she added, referring to a choice of “proximity”. The minister also denounced a “trial of intent” and “personal attacks” after the Mediapart article.

Teachers’ and parents’ unions express their discontent

The words of the new Minister of National Education immediately sparked an outcry from the educational community and its representatives. “These are provocative and scandalous remarks which certainly show the limits of a minister who, on her first outing, achieved the feat of scoring an own goal”castigated on franceinfo Sophie Vénétitay, general secretary of Snes-FSU, the main secondary education union.

Less vehement, the president of Snalc, another secondary school union, “expects the minister to remedy the crisis of attractiveness which creates these weeks, months, even years not replaced. Because from now on, she has responsibility for other people’s children, and not just her own”declared Jean-Rémi Girard to the Figaro. “Now that she’s said that, she better find a solution.”also estimated on franceinfo Laurent Zameczkowski, spokesperson for Peep, the Federation of Parents of Public Education Students.

The left and far-right opposition plunges into the controversy

Beyond the unions, the protest took a more political turn, with recriminations from the opposition. “Seven years that they have been in power, seven years that they have done nothing to restore the schools of the Republic. And they are offended today by the dilapidation of public education, as if they ‘were not responsible for it’was indignant about X Marine Le Pen, president of the RN group in the National Assembly.

The boss of the Socialist Party, Olivier Faure, judged on the same network “hallucinatory” the minister’s words, parodying them: “The public school of which I am now the minister was not good enough for my children so I sent them to a private high school whose values ​​are, according to the surveys carried out there, far from republican values”.

The deputy of La France insoumise Rodrigo Arenas, former co-president of the federation of parents of students FCPE, for his part said to contact the rector of the Paris academy “to verify the denigrating remarks of the Minister of National Education about the Littré school in Paris”.

The government dismisses all controversy and welcomes its results

Questioned on France 2 on Saturday morning, the new government spokesperson wanted to brush aside the matter. “There would be controversy if a responsible member of the government made an observation without proposing solutions”said Prisca Thévenot.



– ()

But if “15 million hours” are “lost” each year due to the non-replacement of certain teachers, “we went beyond stating this observation, we responded to it”especially with the doubling of hours replaced for absent teachers” .

The minister “regrets” having been able to “hurt certain teachers”

The day after her highly criticized statements, the minister spoke out. Amélie Oudéa-Castéra announced to AFP on Saturday afternoon that she “regret” to have been able “hurt some teachers” of public school. She assures that she will be “always” to “sides” of “public school and its teachers”.

His comments caused embarrassment even among the majority. “She has to catch up quickly”a former minister complained to Franceinfo in the middle of the day. “I don’t even understand why she hasn’t done it already.” “Her priority now must be public schools and we haven’t heard her yet”added a government communicator, not entirely surprised by this first outing: “She has little control over the media world.”

source site-32