Sunday, May 22

Education. Secularism: an investigation alert on a surge of religion in school

The thorny issue of secularism at school is discussed again this Thursday, on the occasion of the national day on this theme. A survey carried out by Ifop for the LICRA (International League against Racism and Anti-Semitism) and its magazine The Right to Live

draws up the observation of a significant push of the religious in the high schools.

According to this study, unveiled this Thursday, more than half of students in high schools in the public sector (55%) have already been confronted with some form of expression of the religious fact in schools. Most often, these are requests for “denominational” menus in the canteen (halal, kosher, etc.), refusals of educational activities by young girls in the name of their religion (swimming, EPS, etc.) or even a rejection of religious references. in moments of school life (such as Christmas meals). High schools located in priority education networks (REP) are also much more exposed: 63% of students enrolled in these establishments have already attended a form of religious expression.

The very content of the teachings is also sometimes contested in the name of religious convictions. Almost one in two high school students (48%) thus claims to have already witnessed a questioning of a course by students in the name of their religion. And most of the materials seem to be affected. Once again, it is in the so-called “priority” high schools that the pupils support the most the point of view of their comrades at the origin of the protests (53%, against 14% in the non-“priority” high schools).

Criticism of religions less accepted among Muslim students

According to the Ifop survey, high school students are almost twice as likely (40%) than all French people (23%) to believe that the laws of the Republic are less important than the rules enacted by their religion. This position is also predominant among high school students of the Muslim faith (65%). A high proportion of students enrolled in “priority” high schools (76%) or living in working-class suburbs (55%) also share this point of view.

The survey commissioned for LICRA also points to a criticism of religions in the school space that is much less accepted among Muslim students. 81% of them believe that it is not justified to show cartoons making fun of religions in class, against 39% for all high school students. 13% of Muslim students do not fully condemn the assassination of Samuel Paty, killed after showing caricatures of Muhammad in class (9% of them are indifferent).

A new charter of secularism in public services unveiled this Thursday

A second interministerial secularism committee is being held in Matignon this Thursday. This committee, which will bring together around ten members of the government, takes place nearly five months after that of July 15. During the latter, an action plan in 17 measures was enacted, in order to set in motion the various administrations with the approach of the adoption of the “law reinforcing the respect of the principles of the Republic” (known as against the “Separatism”), since voted by Parliament and officially promulgated in August.

Among the 17 measures, the f <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

The Ministry of National Education must publish the number of attacks on secularism noted in schools, colleges and high schools for the past year. “A cleavage is observed between young people and their elders, in particular on the attitude towards religions and on the conception of secularism”, notes Jean-Pierre Obin, former Inspector General of National Education, author of How we let Islamism penetrate the school

(Hermann, 2020), which was tasked by the Minister of Education Jean-Michel Blanquer with a report on the training of teachers on secularism at school.

“A second cleavage appears between high school students regarding the opinions of these students on the place and importance that religion and its dogmas should take in education and school life,” he adds, considering that “these opinions and the behaviors they induce, clearly distinguish Muslim high school students from their classmates without religion or other faiths and sometimes seem to justify the term ‘separatism’ used by the government ”.

Jean-Michel Blanquer launched at the start of the 2021 school year a four-year training plan for teaching staff, taking up the main lines of Jean-Pierre Obin’s report. Ifop study for the journal

The Right to Live

conducted online from January 15 to 20, 2021 with a sample of 1,006 people, representative of the high school population aged 15 and over.

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