Before the rectors, Gabriel Attal promises firmness on secularism

Before the rectors, Gabriel Attal promises firmness on secularism

The Minister of Education Gabriel Attal asked Thursday before the rectors that the school be "firm" in the face of attacks on secularism, such as religious outfits, calling on his audience to "unite".

"Our school is being tested. In recent months, religious outfits such as abayas or qamis have appeared in some establishments. The firmness of the school's response is being tested by these new phenomena, in the face of blows to fight back, in the face of attacks, in the face of attempts at destabilization. We must unite. And we will unite, "assured the minister before the rectors gathered at the Sorbonne in Paris.

Gabriel Attal will inform them "formally and in the next few days of the course of action for the start of the school year in this area". “We are going to have to be firm in this matter,” warned the minister.

According to a note from the state services, of which AFP obtained a copy, attacks on secularism, much more numerous since the assassination of Samuel Paty, increased by 120% between the school year 2022/2023 and 2021. /2022. The wearing of signs and outfits, which represent the majority of attacks, has increased by more than 150% throughout the last school year.

The traditional back-to-school intervention before the rectors, a first for Mr. Attal, took place the day after the publication of an interview with Emmanuel Macron in Le Point where he spoke at length about the school now presented as its "reserved domain".

During his speech, Mr. Attal also considered that France “has a need for a shock of knowledge”, which he wishes to decline from this start of the school year via “the training of teachers, the experimentation with the opening of colleges from 8 a.m. to 18 p.m. in each academy or even the reintroduction of mathematics in the 1st year of the common core".

On the subject of the National Council for Refoundation (CNR) on the School, wanted by Emmanuel Macron, Gabriel Attal asked the rectors "to shed light on innovations" and by encouraging establishments which "have not yet done so. to get involved in a CNR project from the start of the school year".

The Minister also addressed the issue of the attractiveness of the teaching profession, insisting that "recognition will not stop at remuneration". “I will therefore launch a major plan for the attractiveness and recognition of the teaching profession to encourage more and more of our young people to become teachers and to remain so,” he announced.

The Editorial Board (with AFP)

Image credit: Shutterstock/ Pierre Galan

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