Chronic underfunding has led to a record exodus of teachers but the government is using populist policy as a cheap distraction
Shortly before schools opened for the new term in September, Unicef France issued an alert that almost 2,000 pupils were homeless, twice as many as in January 2022. The UN’s warning was timely, because parts of the state education system in France are in crisis – if not entirely dysfunctional. Yet what made the headlines wasn’t such urgent challenges, but a manufactured controversy over what children are accused of wearing to school.
In a country where the far right is steadily gaining ground, politicians and policymakers know how to play on the fear of Islam as an easy way to mobilise public opinion and pander to populist ideas. Witness Gabriel Attal, France’s education minister, who made the ban on the abaya, the long loose dress favoured by some Muslims, his top priority for the new school year.
Source link : https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2023/sep/20/frances-schools-are-in-crisis-and-it-has-nothing-to-do-with-pupils-dress
Author : Rokhaya Diallo
Publish date : 2023-09-20 07:00:13
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