Facade secularism, biased historical teachings, discrimination… A survey published on Wednesday March 9 by the National Committee for Secular Action (Cnal), which brings together teacher unions and parent-teacher associations, highlights serious abuses within many non-contract schools.
By examining the inspection reports of 164 of these schools – out of some 1,800 existing in France –, the Cnal denounces shortcomings in education, in particular within religious establishments.
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The Cnal points in particular to a lack of transparency in national education vis-à-vis non-contract schools. “The transmission of reports concerning Muslim, Jewish and Steiner-Waldorf establishments is met with refusalsregrets the Cnal. Thus, despite our repeated requests and the positive notice of transmission from the Cada (Commission for access to administrative documents, Editor’s note), the lack of raw data prevents us from providing a complete analysis. »
Catholic schools in the sights
The association particularly curries conservative, traditionalist and even fundamentalist Catholic establishments, in the forefront of which are the schools affiliated with the Fraternity of Saint Pius X. The Cnal denounces it “a major closure of establishments vis-à-vis the outside world and the maintenance of students in a reactionary vision of the world”. Non-mixedness, less vaccination coverage than elsewhere, education through obedience, absence of group work or obsolete manuals would thus characterize the schools of the Fraternity.
Worse still, the contents in certain disciplines are incomplete, sometimes even revisionist. In an establishment in Gironde, the association notes that “the role of Vichy in the extermination of the Jews is silenced, and (than) this genocide is not mentioned in the treatment of the Second World War”.
In another school, “the geography support carries a vision marked by a representation of the world by human “races” (Blacks, Whites, etc.), which poses a major concern for scientifically and potentially racist or at least racialist misconception”.
“Confusion between History and Myths”
More generally, Catholic establishments are singled out by the association. The inspection reports obtained show that the practice of sport, the teaching of citizenship or other subjects are often absent from the curricula. The Cnal also notes discrimination between girls and boys as well as deep digital gaps.
Apart from Catholic establishments, certain schools affiliated with the anthroposophist sectarian movement (Steiner-Waldorf) are the subject of particular attention. The list of reviews is long: “practices that do not comply with the requirements of the common base”, “rituals and conditioning (who) seem to contradict the secular display of these schools”, “rejection of technology” or “confusion between historical facts and myths” have been repeatedly reported from academic inspections.
Referral to the Court of Auditors
In order to fight against the abuses observed, the Cnal makes several recommendations. “The opening of an establishment outside the contract must move from a declaration system to an authorization system, so that the public authorities are not placed in a situation of fait accompli”, asks the association. It also demands that the educational project be an integral part of any request to open a private school.
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“The prefect must be able to pronounce the closure of an establishment when the acquisition of the common base and the values of the Republic is failing”, adds the association. Currently, public authorities can only close an establishment if security breaches are proven.
The association finally seized the Court of Auditors to clarify “on the amount of funding received by non-contract private education establishments, in particular from foundations recognized as being of public utility”. A channel of financing that the Cnal considers contrary to the law.