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Catholic education shows a drop in the number of students

After a balanced year, the numbers in Catholic education are now clearly on a downward trend, indicated its secretary general Philippe Delorme, Thursday, September 22. A first since 2008. As in the public, the primary is affected by the demographic decline, with 9,000 fewer pupils, even if the very small kindergarten sections, which welcome 2-year-old children, attract a growing number of families.

If the numbers of colleges are almost stable, those of high schools also fall by around 9,000 students, with a marked dip in general and technological second and in the professional path.

The demographic decline is barely beginning

Post-baccalaureate training is also declining. The preparatory classes, victims of a model that has become less attractive, lose 750 students. The BTS, they are experiencing a fall (- 6,000 subscribers). “Part of these losses are transfers of students under school status to training, sometimes identical, but under apprentice status”, relativizes Philippe Delorme, who welcomes the increase in the number of registered apprentices (35,000, or 10% more in one year).

In the end, Catholic education lost more than 18,000 students, or nearly 0.9% of its workforce. A slope that could increase in the years to come, due to the demographic decline (the ministry anticipates 500,000 fewer students, public and private combined, by 2027).

Upcoming cost increases

Inflation and the loss of purchasing power of many families could also weigh on the workforce. “Spending on education should not be the adjustment variable for households”, worries Gilles Demarquet, the president of the Association of parents of free education students (Apel). A fear that is all the more justified since establishments should be forced to pass on part of the explosion in gas and electricity bills to their prices. Philippe Delorme cites as an example the case of a small school of 50 pupils, in Franche-Comté, whose energy expenditure should be multiplied by ten, to reach 200,000 €.


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