The important thing
More and more families are diverting their child from the benches of the republican school. A situation that worries many elected officials of the region, gathered this Monday in Caor, on the occasion of the meeting of the Association of Mayors and Presidents of Intercommunal Communities of Occitania.
Many children do not or no longer go to school. Although the topic was not on the agenda of the meeting of the Association of Mayors and Presidents of Intermunicipal Municipalities of Occitanie this Monday, elected officials were moved by this situation in Caor. In the 2021-2022 batch, 408 children between the ages of three and sixteen were indeed educated at home or in non-contract schools. A figure on the rise, as explained by Christine Laverde, 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 have not helped the situation. “There is an acceleration of the phenomenon with the pandemic. Families who oppose wearing a mask or as a health measure prefer to keep their children at home. There is a significant increase in home learning during this period,” says the school teacher. Therefore, a significant decline in the pandemic could mark the return of many children to school. Hope for small schools insecure about these absences. “This phenomenon contributes to the decline of school demographics. We are short of numbers. In the small structures, the majority in our department, missing two or three students is enough to be exposed to layoffs,” explains the trade unionist.
A new, more restrictive law
The new law of August 24, 2021 may limit these removals. Indeed, home schooling at the beginning of the next school year will no longer depend only on a declaration from the family, but will require permission from the competent state authority in the field of education. “Of the affected 408 children or families in the batch, 307 have gone through the clearance process. There is a double inspection: an inspection by the national education department, by district inspectors to check that the necessary knowledge and levels have been achieved, and an inspection by the mayor to prevent sectarian deviations,” Christine Laverde elaborates. Relief for mayors who felt helpless in the face of their responsibility: to judge for themselves the proper monitoring of this home education. “For me, it exceeded our skills as a mayor,” admits Patrick Vallet, mayor of Bach. “In my town, I had two families who had taken care of their children’s education. I am fortunate 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. Requests from families are being considered.
But according to the individual secretary of SE-Unsa, the reform is not a miracle solution to solve the problem: “We have to look at why these families are trying to move away from the social structures. We certainly have to learn from this.”