Twelve million students on their way to school for a back to school full of challenges

Back to school at Edouard Herriot high school, in Lyon, on September 1, 2022.

It is indeed the end of the holidays. Some 12 million students – 6.4 million schoolchildren, 3.4 million college students and 2.2 million high school students – are returning to cl on Monday, September 4, in France.

Landed in July Rue de Grenelle, Gabriel Attal made his first comeback in the costume of Minister of National Education. From the purchase price of school supplies to the weight of the school bag, which he wishes to see halved, as he declared on Sunday evening on M6, the minister has multiplied the announcements, with the desire to seize subjects “concrete”.

However, it was the controversial ban on the abaya, a long traditional dress covering the body worn by certain Muslim students, which dominated the start of the school year in the media. The executive, in the name of the defense of secularism, called for “block” on this ban, which also applies to the wearing of qamis, the male version of this garment. As provided for by the 2004 law prohibiting the wearing of conspicuous religious symbols, recalcitrant students will be welcomed by the establishment but not in cl, and a phase of dialogue will open up between the family and national education. .

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In the wake of the Head of State, Emmanuel Macron, who decided to go to school “his reserved domain”, the government, two months after the riots, wishes to embody a line of firmness in educational matters. On secularism or the fundamental knowledge on which Gabriel Attal wants “package”.

However, if the heads of establishments welcomed the ban, many teachers consider that the question of the abaya “must not hide the real problems on the ground”.

“Republican Duty”

The start of the 2023 school year will indeed take place again under tension due to a crisis in the recruitment of teachers − a phenomenon which is not new but which has increased since last year −, with, this year, more than 3,100 vacancies not filled in teacher competitions. In the Vaucluse, Emmanuel Macron reaffirmed on Friday that the promise of“a teacher in front of each cl” at the start of the school year would be ” outfit “ : “a republican duty”according to him.

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According to a survey by the SE-UNSA 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 solve the vocations crisis, the executive puts forward its revaluation policy “historical” which is aimed in particular at the start of a career. But, despite the budgetary effort made, the unions welcomed these measures with great reserve, and with open hostility to the implementation of the “pact”. This provides for new salary increases in return for new tasks, in particular to perform short-term replacements, a sea serpent in national education. The government believes it can act as a remedy to tackle the 15 million unreplaced hours per year.

Elisabeth Borne and Gabriel Attal on the move

On Monday, the Prime Minister, Elisabeth Borne, and Gabriel Attal, who will go to Ille-et-Vilaine − to the Amandine-Mallet school in Saint-Germain-sur-Ille and to the Simone-Veil general and technological high school in Liffré − , will address the strengthening of fundamentals in mathematics and reading, but also the famous pact, supposed to offer “better recognition of the commitment of teachers”.

The fight against bullying will also be another priority this school year. A new plan will be unveiled by the end of September.

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For the FCPE, the main federation of parents of students, the subject of the abaya should not “not to hide the issues related to the lack of management staff, AESH, nurses (…) or the priority to be given to the fight against bullying, overcrowded cl sizes, the fight against dropping out of school, the thousands of homeless children. Parents’ concerns are also inclusive schooling, which remains an unfulfilled promise for many children with disabilities, the inflation that affects families on a daily basis, high school students without ignments “.

The World with AFP

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