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In Mayotte, the puzzle of the CPs with 12 students, for lack of classrooms

Ⓒ AFP/Archives – SOPHIE LAUTIER – | Mayotte has a galloping demographics: +44% of school-aged youth in ten years

In theory, all the children of CP should be able to benefit in Mayotte classes of CP to 12 pupils decided by Emmanuel Macron, but in the field, the objective seems very difficult to reach, due to lack of premises.

With a rapidly growing demographic – + 44% of school-aged children in ten years, according to the Economic, Social and Environmental Council of Mayotte (Cesem) – the 101st French department fails to build enough classrooms to enroll all primary school children.

In 2016, the vice-rectorate of Mayotte counted 94.320 pupils, ie 40.1% of the total population of the schooled island, of which 52.567 children only for the primary school.

Previously under the jurisdiction of a mixed intermunicipal union (Smiam) dissolved in 2015 for failure, the construction of primary schools is now the state.

The government injected 20 million euros last year to accelerate the pace of construction, but the lack of classrooms still forces municipalities to maintain a rotation system: half of the students in some schools are in the morning, the other half in the afternoon.

Difficult in these extreme conditions to set up the desired device by the President of the Republic Emmanuel Macron to reduce to 12 the number of pupils by classes of CP and CE1 in priority education (PWR).

Although fully classified as Priority Education Network since 2014, Mayotte is far from being able to benefit from the new system. For example, according to Christian Giraud, Deputy Academic Director (DAASEN), only “70 divisions (classes) on 125 CPs” of very disadvantaged districts benefit.

– Children still out of school –

Of these 70 divisions, 27 new classrooms with their classrooms have been created and 43 co-teach in the same classroom, with two teachers giving classes to two different groups.

There, “average enrollment is 13.7 pupils” per group of CP, notes the DAASEN.

But the organization does not work exactly as planned: “We have 24 or 25 pupils with two teachers,” says Rivomalala Rakotondravelo, departmental secretary of the SNUipp-FSU, the main union of first-level teachers.

“I doubt the effectiveness of this mechanism,” adds the trade unionist, who also wonders how it would be possible to reduce classes to 12 pupils “when there are still children who are not in school”, whose number not known.

In Mamoudzou, 600 children have not found a place in schools this year, two-thirds of whom work in rotation, according to Ahamada Haribou, the city’s general administrative director.

To eliminate this Mahorish specificity, which deprives children of a good part of their schooling, 141 classes should be built for a total cost of more than 28 million euros, for this city alone, Mr. Haribou calculates.

Meanwhile, the primary schools in the capital of the island are similar to “mini-colleges”, according to the DGA, like that of Cavani-south, which welcomes no less than 800 students.

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