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“The announced reform risks destabilizing a training path without resolving any of the fundamental issues”

Locational education is rarely at the center of educational debates. Popular teaching by its recruitment, it is of little interest to the middle classes and the elites who do not know it well.

The President of the Republic’s announcements concerning the reform of vocational education are now giving rise to legitimate concerns.

The project is organized around three central ideas: reintroducing early orientation from the 5eincrease internship periods, reduce the share of general education.

It is accompanied by an institutional “meccano”, with the announcement of the dual supervision of national education and the ministry of labour. Strange decision, which reintroduces a decided debate in 1920 [année de la création d’un sous-secrétariat d’Etat de l’enseignement technique rattaché au ministère de l’instruction publique] ! It is a question of extending the apprenticeship model – whose recent success must however be nuanced, since it mainly concerns students in higher education and is based on very expensive public funding (11 billion euros in 2021).

Unlike general education, vocational education has long been subject to different, sometimes contradictory logics.

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To the objective of professional integration is added that of the pursuit of higher education. The offer and the recognition of diplomas vary according to the professional branches. Far from being uniform, it is characterized by great diversity.

School democratization

In the professional baccalaureate, four specialties (commerce/sales, services, health and social careers, electricity/electronics) account for 56% of the 511,800 students. Its diversity can also be explained by a different economic and social fabric from one region to another. Finally, gender segregation is strong there, with sectors almost exclusively female (bac pro accompaniment, care and services to the person, ASSP, for example) or male (bac pro technician of the building, for example).

Loaded from the IIIe Republic of “training the man, the worker and the citizen”, this teaching has known a singular destiny in the history of the school. Organized by the Astier law of 1919 which wanted to promote vocational training by combining school and workshop, vocational education then moved closer to the school model.

Read the interview: Article reserved for our subscribers Vocational education: “We need to think about the budgetary, regulatory and orientation obstacles that prevent us from moving forward”

Until the 1970s, it was intended to be an elite education training workers and employees holding the CAP, and allowed them social advancement through continuing education validated by the professional patent (BP). Its function has changed under the double effect of its integration into the school system from the 1960s and the transformations of work organizations in companies.

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