Catholic education was scrutinizing a possible Covid effect on its registrations. And indeed, almost everywhere, unusual withdrawals occurred during the summer. “It affects all the territories a bit”, specifies Secretary General Philippe Delorme, who held a press conference Thursday, September 24 in Paris. “This mainly concerns some of the most fragile families but also parents who usually have a fairly comfortable income, artisans, traders, restaurateurs, who have seen their budgets deteriorate sharply. “ Unlocked by the institutions’ management organizations or by APEL, the financial aid has not made it possible to completely counter this movement.
The financial weight of the canteen
It must be said that at least the canteen costs (7 € on average per meal) remain the responsibility of the parents. In this area, Philippe Delorme wants to stop “Discrimination”. He thus asks the communities to help in the same way, as they have the right to do, the families of the public and the private sector by bearing part of the cost of the meals.
A number of families have also chosen to postpone the entry of their child into the private sector, telling themselves that there is no need to pay for school with the risk that it will be done again remotely (14,000 students of Catholic education have already been affected since the start of the school year by a closure of their class).
These withdrawals came on top of more structural trends such as the demographic decline in the first degree (1) and the historic establishment of many Catholic establishments in areas that are not very dynamic today – even if a redeployment is underway.
→ DOSSIER. Back to school like no other
This explains why the recurring drop in enrollment in primary education (–1.7%) is no longer offset by the increase in secondary education, limited to 0.6% (against 0.8% last year). It is the first time in ten years that Catholic education has lost students.