Pap Ndiaye, an “anti-Blanquer” at the head of National Education

Pap Ndiaye, the new French Minister of Education, rue de Grenelle on May 20, 2022. AFP - EMMANUEL DUNAND

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Born to a Senegalese father and a French mother, Pap Ndiaye, a 56-year-old researcher and historian has been at the head of the Immigration Museum since last year.

His appointment as Minister of Education marks a break with his predecessor Jean-Michel Blanquer. 

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And if it was him, the left guarantor of this new government?

To see the epidermal reactions of the right and the far right, Pap Ndiaye is not far from becoming the Christiane Taubira of Emmanuel Macron, observes 

Julien Chavanne

of the political service of RFI.

Indigenist assumed

 " for Marine Le Pen.

Deconstructor of France

 " for Éric Zemmour.

Trojan horse of American leftism, racialism and wokism

 ", for the Republican Julien Aubert.

The historian hadn't said a word that he was already their number one target.

The force of these attacks would almost make you forget that he is one of the few left-wing personalities in this government dominated by outgoing ministers and right-wing personalities.

In 2012, Pap Ndiaye had called to vote for the socialist François Hollande.

But ten years later, it was Emmanuel Macron who seduced him and named him instead of his exact opposite.

Republican meritocracy

Born 56 years ago to a Senegalese father and a French mother, Pap Ndiaye grew up in the suburbs of Paris alongside his younger sister, the writer Marie NDiaye, winner of the 2009 Goncourt Prize. He defines himself as a pure product of Republican meritocracy.

A graduate of the École Normale Supérieure de Saint-Cloud, with a degree in history and a doctorate from the École des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), he studied in the United States from 1991 to 1996 and became known to the general public by publishing in 2008

La Condition noire, an essay on a French minority.

 With this book, Pap Ndiaye was one of the first to take an interest in populations of African origin in France, their place in society and the discrimination to which they are subjected.

After having been the scientific adviser of the exhibition

The Black Model

 at the Musée d'Orsay in 2019, he was appointed a little over a year ago to the direction of the Palais de la Porte Dorée which includes the Museum of Immigration.

Pap Ndiaye then said to take the risk of being an alibi.

For him, it is a risk "

 completely secondary to the interest of opening a way 

" for children of African origin. 

► To read also: France: the government of Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne announced

The opposite of Jean-Michel Blanquer

At the Ministry of National Education, he will have the heavy responsibility of restoring a bond of trust with the teachers whose relations with his predecessor were particularly bad.

During the transfer of power with Jean-Michel Blanquer, rue de Grenelle, Pap Ndiaye thus advocated “ 

dialogue with the entire educational community

 ”.

“ 

My first thoughts go to the world of teachers, which has always been mine

 ,” he added during his first speech as minister.

While Jean-Michel Blanquer had given himself the mission of combating “ 

the ravages of Islamo-leftism

 ” in universities, Pap Ndiaye instead fights discrimination and police violence.

The cohabitation with the Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin will be scrutinized closely.

“ 

He's a practitioner, who teaches, who knows what it's like to be in front of a class of students!

It's good to get a pedagogue when there is a malaise among teachers

 , ”says Pascal Blanchard to Agence France-Presse.

The historian specializing in colonization also salutes " 

someone who listens to diversity

 " and " 

knows the international issues

 ".

“ 

On everything relating to minorities, he embodies orientations which are certainly not those that Jean-Michel Blanquer has implemented

 ”, analyzes sociologist Michel Wieviorka.

He is also lucky to be able to move us between different cultures

 ", the United States, Africa and France.

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