For the trade unions, this last-minute decision by the Ministry of Education, supposed to ensure “equality between the candidates”, comes too late, a few days before the holding of the tests, from Monday to Wednesday next.
Better late than never ? A few days before the 2023 baccalaureate specialty exams are held, and to ensure “equality between candidates”the Minister of Education, Pap Ndiaye, announced on Tuesday March 14 on Twitter that he had asked “so that in all high schools, the days of Friday (March 17) or Saturday (March 18) be devoted for final year students to revisions (…), in the form of revision sessions or free time”.
The specialty tests, created by the baccalaureate reform decided in 2019 by his predecessor, Jean-Michel Blanquer, could only be organized once, in 2022, but only in May, due to the Covid-19. 19. For the first time this year, in accordance with the initial timetable for the reform, they take place in March, from Monday 20 to Wednesday 22 (the following week for Réunion). Also a first: the scores for these tests, known from April 12, will be taken into account in Parcoursup, the assignment procedure in higher education.
“An absurd calendar”
For Sophie Vénétitay, general secretary at Snes-FSU, the main secondary school union, this last-minute announcement gives the impression of a “great improvisation”. “This confirms that the Blanquer baccalaureate is really flawed. The ministry felt obliged to clarify things, because each high school was doing things in its own corner”she says to franceinfo. Several associations of specialist teachers alerted the ministry at the start of the school year in September, denouncing a “absurd calendar” which obliges to “deal with programs urgently”.
These events could also be disrupted again this year, this time by the mobilization against the pension reform, since the FO, CGT and SUD unions called for a strike the week of March 20. Threats which are likely to have an especially symbolic significance, because the ministry assured during a press briefing held on Tuesday to have “the right to mobilize all the National Education staff necessary to ensure that the exams go well”.
Arrangements planned in the event of strikes
In the event of disruptions in transport and the delay of a candidate, “not exceeding one hour”, “the end of the test is delayed by as much”the ministry added, saying that “it will never be done to the detriment of the candidates”. The 536,081 candidates (390,710 in the general route and 145,371 in the technological route) will each work on two tests, which together account for a third of the results of the baccalaureate, calculated on 100 points.
Among the specialty tests, we find the arts, history-geography, geopolitics and political science, humanities, literature and philosophy, mathematics, digital and computer science, physics-chemistry or even economics and social sciences.
Since the Blanquer reform of 2019, the baccalaureate mark is based 40% on continuous assessment and 60% on final tests (written and oral French, passed in first class, philosophy, specialty tests and the big oral, all passed in final).