• Since his appointment Rue de Grenelle last May, the new Minister of Education has aroused curiosity.

    But it is also the object of strong attacks on the part of its detractors.

  • The fact that his two children are educated at the Ecole alsacienne, in Paris, is criticized.

    Some of these predecessors also had to answer questions on this topic.

  • A debate that should quickly pass when the minister gets to the heart of the matter.

It is the ransom of notoriety.

Every act and gesture of the new Minister of Education, Pap Ndiaye, is now scrutinized.

Even more by his detractors, most often from the far right, who castigate his appointment.

In a portrait dedicated to him on May 26,

Paris Match

revealed that the two children of Pap Ndiaye were educated at the Ecole alsacienne, in the 6th arrondissement of Paris.

Information relayed on Twitter by Eric Zemmour, who was quick to see a contradiction between a man fighting against discrimination but who "placed his children in an elite school of private education".

The extreme right was not the only one to criticize the choice of the minister and his companion for their children.

This prompted the journalists of Le


to ask him a question about it during an interview published on Saturday.

Pap Ndiaye specifies that his children had been educated in REP + before being at the Ecole alsacienne.

While justifying his approach: “There are times which, in the development of the child, can be complicated.

It is the choice of parents of children for whom at one time, the conditions for a serene and happy schooling were no longer met”.

Words that do not seem to have always been well received by Priority Education teachers.

A not new controversy

Pap Ndiaye is not the first Minister of Education to suffer controversy over his educational choices.

“In 2002, the Minister of Education at the time, Luc Ferry, declared that his three children were enrolled in a private Catholic school in western Paris.

And this for religious reasons”, recalls the historian specializing in Education Yann Forestier.

Previously, François Bayrou, who held this position between 1993 and 1997, had declared to

Le Monde

that of his six children, “three were then in public school, and three in private school”.

More recently, in 2015, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem had indicated on BFMTV


"My children are obviously educated in the public".

She was responding to a controversy wrongly launched by Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, who had claimed that his children were enrolled in a private school.

Also questioned about these children by Léa Salamé during the Grande emission on February 15, 2018, Jean-Michel Blanquer had replied: “I have three-quarters of them in the public”.

Private choice or symbolic decision?

So, is the decision for a Minister of Education to send his children to public or private education a private matter?

Or should it be brought to the attention of citizens?

Najat Vallaud-Belkacem had decided.

" So what ?

There is freedom of education in France.

That some choose to put their children in private is their decision and their choice.

On the side of the unions, we remain cautious on the issue: “We do not want to argue on the subject.

We prefer to debate substantive issues, ”says a trade unionist who prefers to be anonymous.

Especially since Pap Ndiaye was not a political figure before and he was not going to unregister his children from the private sector during the year, let alone a few weeks before the summer holidays.

But even if they do not want to dwell on the issue, and especially to target the new minister, some education players still point to the symbol: "In principle, we can consider that our political leaders should have a duty exemplary by enrolling their children in public education.

It's a way of showing that the minister believes in the policy put in place,” says Eric Labastie, president of the FCPE.

“It is preferable for a Minister of Education to educate his children in the public sector, as this shows his confidence in the institution.

Otherwise, this can contribute to reinforcing false representations, with the false idea that a child will have better learning conditions in the private sector, ”said the trade unionist.

“We have many more important files on the table”

According to Yann Forestier, if the subject is highlighted at the moment, it is mainly due to the surprise of the appointment of Pap Ndiaye: “He is the left guarantor of the new government.

His appointment is above all a matter of communication.

This information can therefore weaken the image of the minister, who is all the more observed at the moment that he has not yet really taken action.

And the fact that his children are at the Alsatian school accentuates the sounding board effect.

“This establishment has the reputation of being a ghetto of the rich, an extremely protected universe.

This insinuates the idea that private education is a remedy in the face of the insufficiency of the public.

Especially when a child encounters difficulties in his schooling, ”continues the historian.

One thing is certain, according to observers from the world of Education: these criticisms will quickly die out.

“We have many more important files on the table.

Like the remuneration of teachers and the crisis of vocations in National Education”, underlines the trade unionist.

“When we are no longer in expectation, this information will no longer be hyped up,” adds Yann Forestier.


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