remove the tablets? No problem, there’s still the television to watch “You Tube”!

Homework help? Why not ! Mother of two young toddlers, Minister Delegate in charge of Democratic Renewal – that’s already quite a program in terms! – and government spokesperson tested herself there during her immersion at the Saint-Siméon neighborhood center, in Auxerre, by carrying out reading exercises for young students from the Marie Noël school, installed there during their time snack and study. A relevant way for the State representative to be able to discuss with CP and CE1 children about the place that digital technology takes in their existence…Worrying.

AUXERRE : Honestly, you had to be there to not miss a single thing! A good twenty minutes of an unvarnished and accessible discussion with kids aged 7 to 9, enrolled in preparatory or elementary classes, first year level. A sort of recreation, like a breath of regenerating and saving air that the organizational staff of this ministerial trip to the Yonne region had granted themselves, after a meeting intended to be constructive and transparent with the agricultural world in complete disarray and perpetual waiting for the aid promised by the State which still does not come, and the rapid visit to Chablis of a few plots hit by hail last night, after an obligatory visit to the premises of the wine cooperative “La Chablisienne” . We will talk about this again.

It was therefore at the Saint-Siméon neighborhood center that the Icaunais afternoon was to end for the young minister who, in her capacity as government spokesperson, does not speak wooden language. We will have seen it firsthand a few minutes before or during a very brief press briefing of barely five minutes flat in Chablis where the interviewee will have sent back in her twenty-two meters the RTL journalist asking her an off-topic question (neither the place nor the time!) on the resignation of eight members of his cabinet! An event that occurred a few weeks ago, far from making the headlines since then, when winegrowers have been in existential overheating for 24 hours…

They all stand up for the tablet and the smartphone!

360° change of register therefore for Prisca THEVENOT immersed in this elementary classroom atmosphere, smelling of nostalgia who will participate in the homework help system (ah, rights and duties, that’s a good lesson in objects and civics to instill in some!) alongside the supervising teams of the Marie Noël school (the famous poet from Auxerre).

Photo sessions and crackling flashes – especially don’t take the little girl with the green scrunchie in her hair according to the official instructions given repeatedly by the organization! – and here is our minister, accompanied by the prefect of Yonne Pascal JAN, Carole CRESSON-GIRAUD, first deputy of the City and DASEN (Directorate of departmental services of National Education – academic inspection), Jean- Baptiste LEPETZ, improvise an adults/children round table right away with the blessing of the minister!

A great moment of communication, I said, that should not be missed under any circumstances! Once the presentations have been made by the State representative (“ I work for Emmanuel MACRON and Gabriel ATTAL… then came the usual questions addressed to these charming blond and brown heads: “ do you know MM. ATTAL and MACRON? “.

Well, it turns out that out of the ten or so kids present, few raised their hands, as if they were completely unaware of the existence of the French executive duo. They would be the only ones! Fortunately, the surveys carried out by the noria of specialized institutes do not take place on these age groups before the Europeans! Everything would be wrong, that’s for sure!

Seeing this, Prisca THEVENOT, a little girl sitting comfortably on her knees, continued the animation of this impromptu session by addressing the major theme which concerns all those who have to manage this on a daily basis with their offspring and with varying degrees of success. : possession of a smartphone or tablet.

And there, like a flock of birds rushing towards the most beautiful cherries in the garden – those which have not been touched by the hail of course! -, all hands except one went towards the sky!

The debate could therefore begin between people who knew what they were talking about! Question from Ms. THEVENOT: “ what do you use your tablet for? “. Response from a little verbally sassy boy: “I play this and that – listing a whole series of unpronounceable sword games that many adults were previously unaware of – and I watch “You Tube”! “. As if that wasn’t enough!

Chase away the natural, it comes back at a triple gallop!

If the boys are particularly quick in their responses, tearing off their index finger to be seen by everyone and while listing the countless games to which they devote their evenings, the little girls, on the contrary, do not dare to speak. Striving to listen politely to the exchanges under the amused gaze of the prefect of Yonne Pascal JAN, doubtful about the personal uses established with the digital devices by these children, already on the verge of addiction.

The Minister of Democratic Renewal is adding an extra layer. “ And if we banned the use of tablets for children under 13, would that be serious in your eyes? “.

One of the budding juniors doesn’t give up. He responds to the state representative straight away: “ It’s not serious, he said with a serious lookas long as I can watch television and go to the “You Tube” channel » ! “.

Chase away the natural, it comes back at a triple gallop!

Pushed in her momentum, Prisca THEVENOT then questions the young audience about reading. A central question of our education and our knowledge, as everyone knows.

And the books? What are you reading at the moment? “. An angel passes into the small room where all the eyes of the officials are scrutinizing the kids who don’t say a word. A heavy silence that says a lot about bookish practices at home!

Pugnacious and not holding back, Madam Minister returns to the attack by asking the toddlers the message they would have to convey to the guest of the Elysée! You never know, after all. Persistent, she begins a suggestion: “ should we tell the President that he is banning “You Tube” for young children?! “. Before quickly adding: “ I’m joking, of course ! “.

Shy, a little slip, finally, hand in his mouth, “ I’m going to CE 2! “. Another, counter pearl style: “ I’m going to play rugby! “. And that will be almost everything!

Let the ministerial delegation rest assured: there is no political connotation in these two messages delivered by young French people to their President of the Republic, that is certain.

The bottom line remains, and much more seriously, that the weight of smartphones and tablets on the direct environment of our offspring outside of school (and this from a very young age) is cause for concern for the future.

Everything is devoted to digital technology and excessive video games, nothing or very little is given to comics and books: failing to call it the “generation X, Y, Z or other”, we call it the “lost generation”…

Thierry BRET

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