the important thing
More and more families are turning their child away from the desks of the Republican school. The situation, which worries many elected representatives from the region, gathered this Monday in Cahors on the occasion of the meeting of the Association of Mayors and Presidents of the Intercommunes of Occitanie.
Many children do not or no longer go to school. Although this topic was not on the agenda of the meeting of the Association of Mayors and Presidents of Occitanie this Monday, the elected representatives were moved by this situation in Cahors. In Lota in 2021-2022, 408 children between the ages of three and sixteen were actually educated at home or in non-contract schools. A number on the rise, as explained by Christine Laverdet, representative of the UNSA teachers’ union (SE-UNSA): “For more than 5 years this phenomenon has been increasing. “And the health restrictions of recent years did not help the situation. “With the pandemic, this phenomenon has accelerated. Families, against wearing face masks or as part of health prevention, preferred to leave their children at home. During this period, there was a significant increase in home education,” says the school teacher. A significant decline in the pandemic could mean the return of many children to school. Hope for small schools, uncertain by these absences. “This phenomenon contributes to the decline in school demographics. We lack numbers. On small construction sites, which are the majority in our department, it is enough for two or three students to be absent to be subject to dismissal,” explains the trade unionist.
New stricter law
The new law of August 24, 2021 could limit these removals. Home education at the beginning of the next school year will no longer be subject only to the declaration of the family, but will require permission from the relevant state authority in the field of education. “Of the 408 affected children or families in Lot, 307 have undergone the authorization process. There is a double inspection: inspection by the national education system, district inspectors to check that the required education and levels are achieved, and inspection by the mayor to avoid sectarian deviations,” says Christine Laverdet. A relief for mayors who felt powerless in the face of their responsibility: to assess for themselves the proper supervision of this home education. “For me, it was beyond our abilities as mayor,” admits Patrick Valette, mayor of Bach. “In my town, I had two families who took care of their children’s education. I am lucky to have a person on the municipal team who has skills in the field of education. I immediately entrusted him with the mission, I didn’t feel like playing pseudo-inspectors. Applications from families are being reviewed.
However, according to the departmental secretary of SE-Unsa, the reform is not a miracle solution to solve the problem: “We should look at why these families are trying to leave public structures. We definitely have to learn from it.”