Pap Ndiaye’s Ministry: Symbolic Resignation Explained

The last few weeks have shown that Pap Ndiaye, Minister of Education for fourteen months, was above all a lonely man in a government and a majority refusing to give him the slightest support, underlines, in a forum in the “World”, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, former minister.

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I would have liked so much, a few days ago, that dozens of organizations of the educational community of our country found the arguments to appeal to the maintenance of Pap Ndiaye at the Ministry of National Education. I would have added my voice to it, as I did for Isabelle Rome, the former minister responsible for equality between women and men. Because I deeply believe that certain public policies should escape an excess of politicization, be protected in the long term by a form of national consensus around a few major priorities, under the watchful eye of the actors and major organizations representing the sector. It requires many conditions, respect, work, courage, but I believe it is possible and desirable.

Women’s rights are part of these public policies, of course, but so is education. I said it when I left my ministerial functions in 2017, I said it again when Pap Ndiaye was appointed. I had supported him, without excessive illusions about his chances of success, because I esteem the man, the historian, the intellectual, the citizen committed against racism, anti-Semitism, discrimination and therefore against the far right. I do not regret it.

Small cowardice of Bercy and Matignon

What I regret are these long months that have passed without a real reversal of the course of things as they had been triggered during the first five-year term of Emmanuel Macron, with Jean-Michel Blanquer. Yet that was the meaning of his appointment, otherwise why change? Wasn’t it possible to follow through on presidential promises on teacher pay, rather than cover up the little cowardice of Bercy and Matignon? Wasn’t it possible to take a few risks to promote social diversity at school knowing that it would be supported by the overwhelming majority of the educational community? Wasn’t it possible, at the very least, to put up a firmer resistance to the absurd fantasy-based attacks on wokism, decolonialism, deconstruction or intersectionality that are known to fuel, at bottom, far-right fights against feminism, freedom of thought or anti-racism?

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