French education abroad: your wishes for 2022

A new year usually brings with it new purposes, desires and ambitions. At least for 2022, there is no shortage of parents of students, teachers’ unions and networks of French institutions abroad.

In the AEFE network

Listen to the heart of desires

Following the strike on 22 November in the French educational network abroad, and the joint strike on 13 January in France and abroad, AEFE staff and parents hope that the agency will take into account the their claims. His wishes are finally approaching his grievances of last year.

This is the request of teachers and parents of students for the year 2022: to be heard and heard by the French Agency for Education Abroad (AEFE). Starting a new year does not mean forgetting the previous one and its problems. Putting staff and parents of students back at the center of discussions to develop and advance the French school seems therefore essential for the teachers’ unions SNES-FSU and SNUipp, and for the three federations. of parents of students abroad, specifically the FCPE, the FAPEE and the UNAPE. For the latter, new developments in the panorama of parents’ federations, the priority is, therefore, to get a seat on the Board of Directors of the AEFE, to be heard.

In addition, the terms “respect”, “listening” and “dialogue” constantly arose during the interactions with the different representatives. They are all unanimous, and their wish is that the parents be “heard to the extent of their involvement”, as Isabelle Tardé, General Delegate of the FAPEE, points out. French establishments are effectively subsidized up to 60% by parents, a rate that has been steadily rising since 2012, according to the 2017-2018 briefing report written by Senate Vice President Vincent Delahaye and Paris Senator Rémi. Féraud, thus reducing the share of investment by the French state in the network. A policy that goes hand in hand with the multiplication of approvals in private centers implemented in the network.

“I agree with the development of French education abroad, but before doing so it is necessary to consolidate what already exists and therefore its pillars, which are the direct management establishments. The solution is not to privatize because this is equivalent to haggling over education and that is terrible. “

Moulay Driss el Alaoui, Vice President of the FCPE responsible for French education abroad

“We are in the process of turning the page on French education abroad. We move to an empty dimension of all Republican missions and lose something fundamental. »

Patrick Soldat, member of SNES-FSU outside France

Budget support

French school abroad is expensive. For example, it costs an average of 2,000 euros a year and per child in kindergarten, about 4,000 euros in primary school and 800 euros a month at the Lycée français in Barcelona. With the health crisis, therefore, many families have found it difficult to pay school fees. Although aid has been provided through scholarships and solidarity funds, it has often been insufficient.

Sabri Khelif, President of UNAPE, would like school solidarity funds to be able to help families in need, not only for school-related expenses, but also in their day-to-day lives.

For Moulay Driss el Alaoui, vice-president of the FCPE in charge of French education abroad, it is necessary to create other forms of support for French but also local families. Students of foreign nationality represent 60% of the students of the French establishments outside France. In the eyes of the vice-president, it is therefore necessary to extend the aid, because the sustainability of the network, which is mainly based on families, is at stake.

The ambitions of the AEFE

The French Agency for Education Abroad has had two difficult and difficult years, as have its staff. Present in 138 countries, it has had to adapt to the restrictions and demands of each government, while trying to keep the ship afloat and move it forward in the direction of the 2030 CAP, a year during which the president’s goal Emmanuel Macron will have to double the number of students in the network. The agency’s ambition for 2022 is, therefore, to maintain its trajectory thanks to a plan developed around social equality and the structuring of the network.

Social equality

In the goals of the network, gender equality and opportunities are the order of the day, as are the goals of the mandate of the Head of State.

On the one hand, the “three-year action plan on professional equality between women and men in the AEFE”, presented to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves le Drian, in March 2021, will structure the year . This is a plan to eliminate gender disparities in the workplace.

On the other hand, the agency wants to promote a school for everyone, facilitating the integration of students with special educational needs, and with the creation of a university degree for network staff.

A specific investment in infrastructure and staff

To ensure the sustainability of the network, you need to invest in it. According to our conversations with the AEFE, the agency will continue to insure the establishments, train and support the staff.

In addition, the agency wants to maintain the work done to structure the network, while encouraging interactions between members. The launch of the secure collaborative intranet for French education abroad “Orion” is part of this approach.

Finally, the new year should mark the strengthening of the Agency’s multilingual policy, with the increase and strengthening of the number of languages ​​taught and international sections. An already well-oiled plan because the network has seen the number of its international sections double in five years, reaching a total of 241 sections in 117 establishments and present in 54 countries, at the beginning of the 2021 academic year. to say that more than half of the international classes are English-speaking, and that the second most represented language is Arabic with 65 multilingual sections.

Within the MLF

In the establishments of the French Secular Mission (MLF), the year 2022 is synonymous with celebration, as in May the 120th anniversary of the network will be celebrated. A congress is scheduled for the occasion in Rabat, Morocco. Michel Bur, head of the pedagogy department, hopes the event can be held and admits that an online alternative will be offered if the pandemic hits the holidays.

Also, she is confident that this anniversary is the perfect event to question the network, its identity, and its future. That is why the congress will want to be participatory and organized around these three issues. Topics already on the agenda within the MLF.

A series of conferences and debates has begun since the beginning of the 2021 academic year. There have already been two one-hour events that have brought together more than 5,000 students, parents, teachers and guests by videoconference, on the topics of “the importance of multilingualism” and “resilience during the pandemic”, and are available at line.

“The lectures serve to reflect on today’s and tomorrow’s school, all together. We are in a process of inverted pyramid, where ideas come from the bottom up.

Michel Bur, head of the pedagogical department of the French Secular Mission

In the same vein, during the year 2022 thematic weeks have been set for teachers. Organized outside of school hours, debates on education will be established in all the establishments in the network.

Finally, parents, teachers and schools have wanted to promote French education abroad, with the aim of bringing the best to their children or students and promoting France internationally.

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