We had been waiting for Emmanuel Macron for months on the subject, who had undertaken to present the “completeness” of the system himself. The announcements on the Universal National Service (SNU) finally came from the Secretary of State in charge of Youth and the SNU, Sarah El Haïry. From March 2024, it will be done during school time for second-year students from voluntary high schools.
We are far from the mandatory nature envisaged before the pension reform. Also far from the spirit of national defense thought before the war in Ukraine. By installing the SNU on school time, the executive changes its philosophy. It will be “a bit like a school trip” which “will cost nothing to schools or parents”, says Sarah El Haïry in an interview with “Figaro” posted online this Thursday, while specifying that individual cohesion stays will continue to exist.
Mixtures by theme
The entourage of the Secretary of State is preparing to publish a call for projects for voluntary high schools which will obtain the label “committed cles and high schools” and will receive financial aid. One or more cles may apply, on four themes: defense and memory; sport ; environment ; resilience and risk prevention.
The second students who will spend twelve days in cohesion outside their department will be “mixed in households with other young people they do not know”, says Sarah El Haïry. Mixing will be done by theme.
To make the device attractive, the government plans to distribute bonus points integrated into the algorithmic calculation of Parcoursup and to facilitate the financing of driving licenses.
Twelve days of lessons lost
The reactions are strong on the side of the teachers’ unions. “The President of the Republic himself said that no more lesson hours would be lost, but the SNU represents twelve days of lesson hours in second”, reacted Jérôme Fournier, from SE-UNSA, on France Info.
The pact is another stressor. “In each establishment, there will be a paid SNU referent within the framework of the additional missions of the future pact proposed by the Minister of National Education”, indicated Sarah El Haïry.
Parents’ representatives are not convinced either. “We take away twelve days of lessons in high school while 15 million hours of lessons are lost and while the 54 hours promised for orientation are far from being reached”, annoys Grégoire Ensel, national president of the FCPE, the main parents’ federation. He is angry with these “commitment cles” who will have the means “to buy binoculars to observe the fauna and flora while the language or history teachers do not have the means to finance their school trips. “.
The PEEP, the other large federation of parents, is also “worried” about “the breach of equity between the establishments which will be voluntary and those which will not”. “These are twelve days that should be devoted to learning the program,” insists Laurent Zameckzkowski, spokesperson for the organization.
The evolution of the UNS towards an educational rather than a military subject is nevertheless interesting, according to Guillaume Prévost, general delegate of Vers Le Haut, a think tank dedicated to education. “It is no longer a question of a national service but of a green cl dedicated to transversal educational paths and that is probably not a bad thing”, he indicates, referring to the different paths of Education. national – citizenship, moral and civic education, health, artistic and cultural education, etc.
Guillaume Prévost sees in it the place of a “transdisciplinarity” favorable to learning while academic knowledge remains largely organized in silos. “What is at the heart of the SNU is no longer the uniform, the pumps and the Marseillaise, but the transformation of public education, of school outside the walls”, he concludes.