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National Education: “We will have the necessary mathematics teachers”, reassures the director general of school education

“We will have the necessary mathematics teachers in front of the classes”, reassures Thursday May 12 on franceinfo Édouard Geffray, director general of school education (Dgesco) while all the positions open to the various competitions, including the Capes, to become a teacher will not be filled this year. There are not enough applicants in mathematics and in German in particular. Édouard Geffray ensures that the National Education has “a reserve of personnel” and also indicates that the situation this year “is punctual and particular” because the rules for admission to the teaching competition have been modified.

franceinfo: Is the lack of candidates to become a teacher a recurring project?

Edouard Geffray: This is a recurring project but in this case, the situation this year is a very specific situation. This is linked to the reform of the teaching competition since now we recruit teachers who have a Master 2 where before we recruited them at the end of the Master 1. As it is a year of implementation, we have candidates who were already candidates last year in Master 1. They therefore had the competition and are not applying again this year. So we had a very special and one-off situation which will be resolved next year. Moreover, over a long period, there are indeed disciplines that historically attract few students and therefore few candidates for competitions. This is the case in some languages. We can think in particular of German where traditionally we don’t have a lot of candidates, but that doesn’t prevent us from recruiting teachers every year.

Jean-Michel Blanquer, on behalf of Emmanuel Macron, is committed to strengthening the place of mathematics in the common core of high school students. An hour and a half more at the start of the school year. With what means?

We have a certain number of resources which are currently said to be in reserve and which will therefore be allocated to the academies. It turns out that, particularly due to the Covid-19 situation, we recruited a few more people this year than we needed in ordinary times. So, a reserve of personnel who will continue their action next year and who will therefore be able to take charge of classes over this hour and a half target set by the president. For the hour and a half of mathematics, we will have the necessary mathematics teachers in front of the classes.

To attract more students to teaching, more candidates for the competition – apart from the specificity of this year that you explain – shouldn’t we simply have to pay them more?

As you know, a process of upgrading has been initiated, particularly at the start of a career. There have already been two upgrading campaigns in the past two years. Then, it is above all necessary that we succeed globally in attracting and directing students towards certain disciplines. If I take history-geography, philosophy, structurally and for years, we have had no difficulty recruiting in these disciplines. If I take German or, to a lesser extent, mathematics, the number of students who follow these courses is actually much lower and therefore this is where you have to succeed in rotating. Very concretely, the people who pass their examination today, they entered the higher world five or six years ago, so they made a choice five or six years ago. So we are on a long time.

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