D-day for the Baccalaureate: On the Menu, Philo and French, with Threat of a strike on Surveillance

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D-day for the baccalaureate: the menu of the philo or the French

While some unions threaten not to monitor the tests, 740 000 candidates spend this morning on philosophy or French tests for the Baccalaureate

Today, Monday 17th June, some 740 000 candidates will go through the doors of high schools to sit for their first written test of the baccalaureate, which should take place “normally” according to the ministry despite a call for strike action on surveillance of the exams.

At 8am, the 554 000 candidates of the general and technological baccalaureate will discover their subject of philosophy. For the 190 000 candidates of the professional baccalaureate, it will be the test of French, at 9.30am.

The youngest candidate is 11 years old and seven months old and is studying science at the Versailles Academy. The oldest is 77 years old and is enrolled in the Academy of Dijon.

A strike threat

Last year, a social movement at the SNCF caused fears of disturbances. This year, for the first time since 2003, teachers’ unions call for a surveillance strike on Monday to protest the reform of the baccalaureate, which will come into effect in 2021.

Read also: Beginning of the baccalaureate: in Caen a call to strike for the surveillance of the tests

“The examination will take place normally”, repeats the Minister of Education Jean-Michel Blanquer. The rue de Grenelle gave instructions to the heads of the 4635 examination centres to provide a steering wheel of replacements.

“It’s a small minority that will strike,” said the minister Friday.

“The teachers are responsible people who bring their students to the baccalaureate and who have no desire to sabotage the moment for which they have prepared them”

“We never intended to disrupt the events. When we go on strike, we know that the administration has the means to cope with the situation, “say teachers mobilized at the Flora-Tristan high school in Noisy-Le-Grand (Seine-Saint-Denis), which emphasize the dimension” symbolic “of their actions.

In this establishment, a quarter of the 60 teachers convened Monday pronounced for the strike. “It’s a heartbreaker. There are some students we’ve been following for three years, “says a non-union English teacher who will not come to work on Monday when she has to do some of the stewardship.

She has, however, volunteered to organize the rooms and prepare the blank copies by Friday afternoon.

“Local” baccalaureate

The inter-union that called for the strike – which includes the Snes-FSU, the first union among secondary school teachers, and South Education – intends to protest against the reform of the baccalaureate which will reduce the number of final exams including the exam in favor of continuous monitoring and is accompanied by a redesign of high school education.

The unions see this transformation as the introduction of a “local” baccalaureate, the value of which will depend on the high school in which the young person has completed his schooling, and expect “a frantic pace of evaluation” through continuous monitoring.

They are also exasperated by what they see as a lack of response from the minister to their concerns about the reform of this two-hundred-year review.

Beginning of four hours of philosophy test; at the Fresnel high school in Caen, June 18, 2018.
Beginning of four hours of philosophy test; at the Fresnel high school in Caen, June 18, 2018. (© AFP / Archives / CHARLY TRIBALLEAU)

The philosophy test, which since the 1970s kicks off the week of tests for a large number of candidates, will be maintained in the new tray.

The afternoon in the examination centres will be devoted to the anticipated French test for first-year students in general and technological bac.

The baccalaureate exams will end on June 24th for scientific (S) and literary (L) programs, and as of June 21st for the economic and social (ES) sector. In the pro track, where the youth have already passed several tests, the exams will run from Monday to Wednesday.

During the week of tests, the admission procedure in the higher, Parcoursup, is also suspended. It will resume on June 25th, with a new phase called complementary, which will allow candidates to make wishes on vacant places on the platform.

The results of the baccalaureate will be known on July 5th and catch-ups will stretch to July 10th. Since 2012, the success rate exceeds 80%. In 2018, 88.2% of the candidates took the diploma. But the proportion of graduates in a generation is significantly lower: one in five young people aged 18 did not have the bac in 2018.

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