Among games, videos and requests from friends on social networks, adolescents have seen spots and photos in recent weeks entitled "L & # 39; aventure du vivant". On Snapchat or Instagram, the Ministry of Agriculture launched an offensive and targeted campaign to promote public agricultural education. Presented as a preview at the International Agricultural Show in Paris, the campaign aims to brush up on preconceived ideas about agricultural high schools and intends to "make the purpose of the trades, more than 200, and the job prospects that offer these channels, said Didier Guillaume, Agriculture and Food Minister, an idea that comes when the institutions hold their annual Open House Weekend from the beginning of March. Does that mean that agricultural education is taking place and that there is room for all those who aspire to become farmers, veterinarians, landscapers or engineers? Not so sure.
High schools forced to refuse third grade students due to lack of space
In Laval, in the agricultural department of Mayenne, teachers have not fired since they saw the ministry use a video made by BTSA students from their high school on the sound of the song Happy Pharrell Williams. "The same week, we learned that the ministry has refused us the opening of a second class in animal production (PA)", says Yoann Vigner, professor of historical geography and regional secretary Snetap-FSU Pays de la Loire (organization majority trade union). Not enough to be very happy. The unionist explains that for several years the establishment is forced to refuse third-degree students who want to join this sector, due to lack of space in the existing classes. "Then they enter the private sector or completely change the sector. A situation that contrasts with the declared ambitions of the ministry and also with the situation of the territory in which the school is located." The department has many breeders and many young people want to practice this profession. The farms lack weapons, especially in the production of pigs, "says Yoann Vigner. For him, the ministry makes a double speech. The campaign, which aims to" guide young people towards the offer of a diversified education in the # 39 ; agricultural education ", clashes with the wall of reality, since, in this very plant in Laval, the opening of a sector of general education in economic and social sciences (SES) was rejected, while agricultural high schools have long been offering recognized and respectable scientific fields (S), because, among the peculiarities of these establishments, it is particularly that of the less numerous classes. "At 20 or even 24 hours at most, students have better conditions than learning ", emphasizes the teacher. And the possibility of dividing the lessons into some subjects, including modern languages. But even here, the ministry campaign is not in tune with the actions. The general direction for l & # 39; ist ruction and research (DGER), which supervises the agricultural colleges of the ministry, believes that "the duplication thresholds are one of the main causes of the decline in the number of agricultural public education" and therefore plans to improve them or even eliminate them altogether. This would be to deny that "they were set up for a pedagogical purpose (half a group of language courses for example) or for security reasons (supervision of practical work / exercises)", estimate the thousands of signatories of a petition initiated by Snetap- FSU, CGT agri, FO agricultural education, SUD, UNL and CIPF rural areas.
Items that were brought to the attention of the Minister of Agriculture by Snetap-FSU, during a meeting held on 12 March. Frédéric Chassagnette, deputy secretary general of the trade union organization, deplores an "almost impossible discussion" with the government. Believes that the alleged policy of reducing public jobs will lead to a deterioration of school conditions. "The public education will go to the cashier", which in turn causes a strengthening of private education.
A risk of slowing down the agroecological transition
Consequences that risk slowing down the necessary agro-ecological transition, since private establishments, in particular rural houses (MFR), are linked to the profession through the operators of competences (Opco). And, in the agricultural and agribusiness world, "the profession" has long teeth. "The FNSEA is very often represented to administer the institutions and the agribusiness national press agency to prevent institutions from approving occupational safety and health approvals," says Frédéric Chassagnette. "It could be a hassle to go around and then, the redevelopment (continuous training – ed.) will therefore be the responsibility of the owners ", said the unionist. The ministry should continue its cycle of consultations with the unions before deciding through an official communication. Yet, teachers and students, attached to these institutions like no other, in the end want good reasons to be truly "happy".