Nearly 400,000 disabled students are enrolled in school today, ie 20% more than five years ago. However, the defender of rights Claire Hédon insisted, at the end of August, in a report, on “the growing number of children whose needs are poorly or not at all covered”.
One of the reasons: the glaring lack of AESH, those accompanying students with disabilities. Minister Pap Ndiaye has thus recognized, in the same way as teachers, a lack of attractiveness linked to salary.
A dozen students monitored every day
Ludivine Meunier is AESH in a Parisian vocational high school, the Marcel Desprez high school, specializing in electrical engineering trades. This companion follows no less than ten students a day, suffering from attention disorders, hyperactivity, autism spectrum or dyslexia.
At 8:30 a.m., the bell rang. And it’s the race for Ludivine. Orange hair, round glasses and a flowered shirt, you can spot her from afar. She frolics in the classroom corridors, in class. “It’s true that it takes a lot of energy!” she exclaims between two lessons.
After two hours of geography of 2h in second alongside Timmy, it is the turn of Khays and Hakan, two students of Terminales, to benefit from his help in maths for one hour. “Calculate that on your calculator,” she advises Hakan right after helping Khays solve a problem on arithmetic and geometric sequences.
“The more we talk about it, the more it is known”
She follows, in each class, at least two teenagers, because of the many students who need her help. “The more we talk about the education of students with disabilities, the more it is known. And the more it is known, the more it is trivialized”, says Ludivine.
“Teachers are detecting more and more because they are more aware, and families, for whom it is much less stigmatizing since it is much more widespread, also take the steps behind it,” she explains. For Laurence, an English teacher, the presence of Ludivine is essential. “I don’t have time for an hour of class to do it on a case-by-case basis, so I take them as they are. And then we dust off, we dissect and we get to know the student thanks to the work of the ‘AESH”, points out the teacher.
Two AESH instead of four for the whole school
Ludivine’s only problem: not being able to split… They were four AESH last year, but they are only two, since the start of the school year, for the whole school. “Today, we cannot cover all the children. There are four who find themselves without support”, she regrets.
For her, the shortage of AESH can be explained, among other things, by one factor: “there is a real precariousness”. “We have a first CDD of three years, renewable once, before being retained”, she argues. His contract is regularly modified. Today paid at minimum wage to work 39 hours a week, Ludivine could thus be assigned fewer hours next month.