Declaration against authorization. The debate about family education lasted more than three hours on Tuesday in the Senate, in the framework of the consideration of the draft law on separatism. The government foresees in its text the establishment of a system of prior authorization from the rectorate if a family wants to use home education. The right and center senatorial majority preferred to maintain the current principle of a declaration. Therefore, he deleted Article 21 of the draft law in the committee, this deletion was confirmed in today’s session. However, senators have strengthened the controls of this family guideline. Increasingly, it now concerns about 60,000 children.
“The challenge of freedom of education”
“The framework for the use of home education calls into question, from our point of view, the freedom of education, which is based on public schools, private schools with or without contract and home education.”, defended LR rapporteur Stéphane Piednoir . who asks “about the real connection between separatism and family education. The Ministry has not conducted any real study”. However, the rapporteur “conceives” that some additions should be made, preserving the declarative system.
Therefore, some amendments have been adopted that strengthen control, such as a deadline for making the declaration, or for the commitment of families to practice teaching mainly in French. What surprised the Minister of National Education, Jean-Michel Blanquer: “We can take these changes as a validation of the first version of Article 21”, he said, “it is a posthumous, temporary tribute to Article 21”. Provisional, because the MPs will be able to re-introduce it later. “You are in the process of creating an a posteriori authorization regime,” adds PCF Senator Pierre Ouzoulias. “We remain in a regime of declaration”, answers senator LR Max Brisson, but “we are also in a logic of control, because we are responsible”.
“Family education is not in evidence through this draft law”, assures Jean-Michel Blanquer
Jean-Michel Blanquer tried to defend the spirit of the measure, approved by the National Assembly. “Homeschooling, homeschooling, is not on trial through this bill. On the contrary, like many freedoms, it is defined by law”, argued the minister. Denouncing the “caricatures”, he assures: “We have never had the objective of ending family education. However, this is what Germany, Sweden or Spain are doing.”
Jean-Michel Blanquer on family education
He intends to be in “dialogue” with “the world of families, which we have listened to and which has mobilized a lot”. Hence an “extension of the exceptions” allowed in the text. But “what we are aiming for is fraudulent family education, which serves separatism”. The minister adds:
In the family there is good and bad education.
“Yes, family education is a problem and a problem of separatism, not only in Islamic radicalism, but also in sects”, insists the Minister of National Education.
“We know that there are over 60,000 schooled children in the family, we know that this figure has been exploding for 10 years, we know that it is exploding randomly in the territories where there is separatism”, adds Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer. who denounces the double game of the right: “We pretend we don’t see this to please other groups who claim to be affected by this law when they won’t be. And we make a kind of political calculation about this”.
“You are depriving a large part of families of their freedom”
In the center right, there is another music. “There are deviations from family education”, but with Article 21, “you are depriving a large part of families of their freedom” and “you are playing the game of the Islamists”, assesses Nathalie Delattre, senator of the RDSE group. Home schooling can also be justified “for reasons of health, disability or for autistic children who cannot enter public school, for lack of an adapted classroom”, adds Colette Mélot, senator of the Les Indépendants group.
“I would not like children in the Republic to go to Koranic school instead of being educated, but it is up to you to propose the means to avoid this excess without questioning a fundamental freedom,” asked LR Senator Philippe Bas, who. “He thinks that the freedom of teaching as a family is seriously affected by this text.” Watch:
Philippe Bas on homeschooling
“Article 21 comes from the will of the President who had said that home learning had to be abolished”, during the speech of Les Mureaux, in October 2020, recalls Bruno Retailleau, president of the LR group. During this speech, the Head of State said that he wanted to “strictly” limit this way of learning. For Bruno Retailleau, “this article was born badly” and “badly targeted”, like the whole bill, “too accommodating when it is necessary to be firm”, but “liberticidal when it comes to attacking freedoms without justification is given” . “.
“The indignation of the senatorial majority that is variable geometry”
In contrast, the senator of the RDPI group (LREM), Nadège Havet, underlines that “5,000 children would be off our radar today. This is unacceptable.” She is surprised by the “double standard” of the senatorial right, after the “hardening” of the text last week. Socialist Eric Kerrouche also scoffs at “the indignation of the senatorial majority which is variable in geometry”. He adds:
It is not possible to build the nation on separatism, whatever they are: religious separatism, but also social separatism or separatism from elitism, or the fact of separation to remain among themselves, with their own valid system.
David Assouline, also a SP senator, is surprised that the right is mobilizing more “for Algerian flags at weddings” than for this topic, “it’s almost a moment of truth about what motivates each other”.
Communist Cécile Cukierman also underlines the injustice for parents who “have no other choice because they have to work and cannot stop for six months or a year to go to school.” “Teaching in the family does not promote the socialization of the child, the learning of citizenship”, adds the socialist Jacques-Bernard Magner.
“What I hear there is complete nonsense! »
“We cannot caricature this side of the half-cycle, saying that we will be weak against separatism and radical Islamism. What I hear here is complete nonsense! “Answers LR senator Laure Darcos. What Olivier Rietmann, a rare LR senator to defend the authorization regime sought by the government, did not appreciate. “I was wondering if I was being a bit silly. And I wondered when I spoke about the ban on family education, “said Olivier Rietmann jokingly. “We talk about PMA without a father, but what about the child without a friend? asks the LR senator from Haute-Saône, who defends the need “for the school of the Republic , which saved me, in relation to my special family situation”.
Despite a certain dialogue of the deaf, Jean-Michel Blanquer still tried to convince of the usefulness of this text, not without responding to the attacks, especially that of LR Olivier Paccaud, who sees in the measure “a collective punishment” of unfairly. “I will talk to you about off-topic copying, and there are many cases when we are off-topic,” begins the minister, who asks: “Let’s not pretend that we are aiming off-target. I kept saying it wasn’t like that.”