The Minister of National Education, Sports and the Olympic Games, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, visited the Littré public school in Paris on Tuesday January 16. At the heart of a controversy over the schooling of his children, this visit was supposed to put an end to the first crisis of the Attal government.

The minister, with a closed face, arrived around 11:45 a.m., was greeted by a chorus of boos, whistles and pots and pans by people demonstrating “in defense of public schools”. However, Ms. Oudéa-Castéra’s entourage had, on Monday evening, announced this visit “to meet the teachers and the management team of the establishment, and to discuss with them”.

“Do like your children, go back to the private sector,” one of the demonstrators told him upon his arrival, according to journalists from Agence France-Presse (AFP) present on the ground. “We have had enough of this policy, which destroys public schools, only drives for money,” other demonstrators chanted.

Anne Hidalgo says she shares “the indignation of teachers and parents”

Welcomed on her exit as when she arrived an hour before – by boos –, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra stressed that she “owed” her “apologies” for having “hurt” the teachers and that she “regret[t] having mentioned them by name” in front of the press when she mentioned, last Friday, the “packages of hours (…) not seriously replaced” in the public. At the microphone of BFM-TV, the minister subsequently affirmed that she was “there to make the school succeed”.

In a letter addressed to Ms. Oudéa-Castéra, the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, said on Tuesday noon that she shared “the indignation of teachers and parents who were offended by the comments of the Minister of National Education”. In the extract from the document, published on her Instagram account, Ms. Hidalgo affirms that the minister’s words “are a form of distrust and contempt for public schools, which deserve to be supported, not that we denigrates.” “I invite you, continues the mayor of Paris to the attention of Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, to consistency and responsibility, by returning to the past and future cuts of teaching positions in Paris. »

Mired in controversy

Since her remarks made Friday after a trip with Prime Minister Gabriel Attal – whose government is facing its first storm – Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, appointed Thursday at the head of the super ministry, has been mired in controversy. Both his choice to enroll his three sons at the Stanislas school, a prestigious private and conservative establishment in the beautiful districts of the capital, and his declared motivations, namely “lots of hours not seriously replaced” in the public, statements contradicted by the teacher involved, caused an uproar.

The minister tried to backtrack by saying she “regretted” having “may have hurt certain teachers”, but in vain. The controversy continues to be fueled by the teaching unions, as well as the left and the far right, who accuse him of having lied about his motivations and demand his resignation.