In their first monthly report, the “values teams of the Republic” of national education identified 313 reports of attacks on the principle of secularism in secondary schools, during the month of September.
A figure up slightly compared to the year 2021-2022, to be taken with caution, however, because the frequency of publication of these reports has been increased: the summaries will now take into account the attacks identified for one month, compared to three consecutive months in previous reports.
A majority of reports of wearing signs and outfits
In this new assessment, attacks on the principle of secularism identified in some 59,260 schools and secondary schools are overwhelmingly the fault of students, at 82%, against 8% from staff, 5% from parents. students (and 5% for other authors).
These attacks mainly concern the wearing of signs and outfits (abayas, scarves, etc.), at 54%. This is 13 points more than in the last summary on the subject, which studied the phenomenon from April to July 2022. 8% of the facts concern a suspicion of proselytism, while the refusal of school activity, the contestation of collectively and community claims each represent 7% of the infringements recorded.
Majority of facts in high schools
Most breaches of the 2004 law were also noted in high schools, at 51%, against 36% in colleges and only 13% in the first degree. The assessment here points to an inversion of the type of establishment concerned by this phenomenon compared to the period from April to July 2022: the facts now take place mainly in high schools, while in the spring 51% of the attacks had been noted. in colleges.
“The upward trend identified during the year 2021-2022 continues”, specify in their press release the teams, which also list 221 requests for advice from the educational teams for help in enforcing the principle of secularism at school.
“Firm” response from the Minister
The Minister of National Education and Youth Pap Ndiaye had promised, at the end of September, an answer “ closed to non-compliance with the 2004 law prohibiting the wearing of religious symbols at school, and provided for the publication of precise data.
This decision was taken after the publication of a note from the State services, at the end of August, concerning messages on social networks which called for breaking the law which prohibits religious symbols in school.
At the beginning of the week, the blockade of a high school degenerated after the intervention of the police. In addition to previous tensions and support for a transferred teacher, students had also protested against the ban on “loose outfits” by the management.