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End of home schooling: an attack on fundamental freedoms?

In his big speech on separatism, delivered Friday, October 2, Emmanuel Macron posed words on the problem and the method he opposes to it. The problem, ” it is Islamist separatism. It is a conscious, theorized, political-religious project “. The answer is a ” republican awakening », A mobilization of the whole nation and in the front row, of the school.

One of the main concrete measures of this intervention, an announcement which surprised even among the majority, thus consists in putting an end to home schooling. The president gives solemnity to this measure: ” It is a necessity. I made a decision, undoubtedly one of the most radical since the laws of 1882 and those ensuring the school mix between boys and girls in 1969 ”.

To justify such a reform, the executive highlights the sharp increase in home schooling, from around 18,000 in 2010 to 36,000 in 2018. It exploded last year with 50,000 children out of school, but for a simple reason: the age of compulsory education was lowered from 6 to 3 years at the start of the last school year. The number of home-schooled children has therefore increased further, with some parents not wanting to send their little ones to kindergarten.

The Laia association, which brings together families who choose home education, denounced this decision saying that no study has made it possible to establish the link between radicalization and school in the family.

In Val-d’Oise, an increase of 81%

Member of the association, Alix Fourest regrets this amalgamation and the lack of transparency. “The number of families making this choice for educational and pedagogical reasons is increasing, but the ministry refuses to take account of this reality. “

While it seems difficult to say precisely what the profile and what are the motivations of these families, the phenomenon seems particularly important in working-class neighborhoods. A senatorial report from July mentions that, in Val-d’Oise, we went from 325 children at the start of the 2018 school year, to 589 a year later, an increase of 81%.

The majority is also alarmed by the situation of children in principle at home but who in reality find themselves sent to clandestine schools, veritable places of indoctrination. Emmanuel Macron cited the case of the closure of an establishment in Seine-Saint-Denis last week, which had 70 children aged 3 to 10.

→ READ. Home schooling will be more controlled

Can this reform be called into question in the name of respect for fundamental freedoms? At the Ministry of Education, we highlight a decision of the Constitutional Council of 1978 which specifies the meaning of the principle of freedom of education: it is about the free choice of the establishment which is guaranteed to the parents, but not of a right to home schooling for your child. As for the European Court of Human Rights, it has, again according to the rue de Grenelle, validated the ban on home schooling by certain States.

The right to choose “the kind of education”

A legal argument that does not convince the former director general of school education, Bernard Toulemonde. “In two recent decisions, the Council of State recognized the right of parents to choose an alternative education. “ Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights further states that “Parents have, as a priority, the right to choose the kind of education to be given to their children”, recalls Bernard Toulemonde.

President Macron assured that home schooling would remain open for health reasons. The Ministry of National Education also mentions cases of disability, children from itinerant families or high-level sports minors. Motivated mainly by the control of Muslim education, the expected reform will have consequences far beyond.

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The main announcements against separatism

A law project must be presented to the Council of Ministers on December 9, the anniversary of the 1905 law.

School. Reinforced control over establishments not under contract. The grounds for an administrative closure decision will be broadened.

Associations. Dissolution of those not respecting the “Minimum requirements for life in society”. Charter of secularism for those who receive subsidies.

Public services. The principle of reinforced neutrality, extended to companies which have a public service delegation.

Cults. Legal measures for “Incite” mosques to pass under the regime of religious association.

Islam. The president gives six months to the religious authorities to develop a training of imams.

Culture. Development of the teaching of Arabic at school, creation of a scientific institute of Islamology.

Equality. Strong anti-discrimination measures will be announced in the autumn, particularly in the area of ​​housing policy.


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