Some 12 million students return to school in France on September 4, for a return to school dominated in the media by the ban on the abaya, a long traditional dress covering the body worn by certain Muslim students.
As schools reopen on September 4, Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin sent a message to the police to underline “the sensitive nature of this return to school” on attacks on secularism in schools. . This is to say the state of tensions on this day of return.
“There are 513 establishments that we have identified as potentially concerned by this question at the start of the school year,” said his counterpart in charge of Education, Gabriel Attal, on RTL radio. It is the entire executive who, in the name of the defense of secularism, called for “uniting” on this ban which also applies to the wearing of qamis, the male version of this garment.
The general secretary of the CGT union, Sophie Binet, however, considered “very dangerous to go back to school on this announcement there”. This “hides the real questions” and “stigmatizes part of the population”, she estimated on the public channel France 2.
As provided for by the 2004 law prohibiting the wearing of conspicuous religious symbols, recalcitrant pupils will be welcomed by the establishment but not in class and a phase of dialogue will open between the family and National Education.
In the wake of the Head of State Emmanuel Macron who has decided to make school “his reserved domain”, the French government, two months after the riots which shook the country, wishes to embody a line of firmness in educational matters , for example on secularism or fundamental knowledge.
3,100 vacancies not filled in teacher competitions
If the heads of establishments welcomed the ban, many teachers believe that the question of the abaya “should not hide the real problems on the ground”.
The start of the new school year is indeed taking place again under tension due to a crisis in the recruitment of teachers – a phenomenon not new but which has increased since last year – with this year more than 3,100 unfilled vacancies in the competitive examinations. teachers in the country.
Emmanuel Macron reaffirmed on September 1 that the promise of “a teacher in front of each class” at the start of the school year would be “kept”. According to a survey by the SE-Unsa teachers’ union, conducted among 2,000 people, 68% of teachers questioned said they feared that there would be a lack of staff for the start of the school year.
To resolve the vocations crisis, the executive is putting forward its “historic” revaluation policy but, despite the budgetary effort made, the unions have welcomed these measures with great reserve. And they are frankly hostile to the implementation of the “pact” which provides for new increases in remuneration in return for new tasks, in particular to carry out short-term replacements.
For the FCPE, the main federation of parents of students, the subject of the abaya must “not overshadow issues related to the lack of personnel” of management or nurses “or the priority to be given to the fight against harassment, to overcrowded class sizes, to the fight against school dropout, to the thousands of homeless children”.
RT All Fr Trans