ought to residence training be restricted?

► “Give parents freedom of choice”

Pascale MoriniereVice President of the Catholic Family Associations (AFC)

“With this decision, the government relativizes the role of parents and sends a message that children somehow belong to the state. On the contrary, we, the Catholic family associations, defend the freedom of choice of the parents, the “first and foremost educators” of their children. The Church’s social doctrine emphasizes the educational primacy of parents, and we remain very attached to this concept. We do not minimize the problem posed by Islamist separatism, but we have the impression that we are suffering from the side effects of this law.

→ INVESTIGATION. The end of school at home: an attack on fundamental freedoms?

Parents can choose home education for a variety of reasons. Find the pedagogy that better suits the needs of their children (illness, disability), respond to specific moments in their lives (adoption, removal), e.g. To this is added the experience of school at home during the first birth, happy and successful for a number of families. Children are educated at home for health reasons. The government has announced that it will make exceptions, especially for sick and disabled children. We also hope to expand the list to include children who are bullied at school.

But instead of restricting family education, the state could simply tighten controls and monitor families at risk. This does not necessarily require additional resources. There is no need to have an official behind every family. At present, monitoring visits vary considerably. They may be separated when the inspector knows the family favorably. In addition, some distance education systems, such as the CNED (Center national d’enseignement à distance), already have a check on whether homework is complete. We could do so in a more focused way.

→ READ. Homeschooling will be more controlled

I also note that neighboring countries banning domestic schooling have only introduced schooling since the age of six. The pace is really more flexible for children when school starts later. Community life is not necessary at the age of 3 or 4 years. And the question arises, do we think that radicalization can take place at this age? When teaching at home is extended for a longer period, there is undoubtedly a need to double vigilance.

However, of the 50,000 children declared as home school, half of them seem to use them for a limited time. This corresponds to the choice of parents for various reasons, which should be left to their discretion. Respect for parental freedom in choosing a school is fundamental in a democracy. »

► “Protection of family education against its abuse”

Anne Brugnera, Member of LREM, co-rapporteur of the bill confirming respect for the principles of the republic

“The ambition of the bill is not to limit, but to better regulate the current system of family education. This is a necessity, as we have found young people in secret state-closed schools who have been officially declared in this facility. It is therefore our responsibility to protect family upbringing from this abuse and society from separatism, as well as to guarantee the right to education for children.

That is why we want to switch from the declaration mode to the authorization mode. Freedom of education will, of course, be maintained, as parents retain the right to apply for this permit. Let’s avoid cartoons and Manichaean poses: to say that everything is going wrong in today’s family upbringing is wrong, just as it is wrong to say that everything is going well. We want to strengthen it by verifying the ability of parents to provide their children with a quality education and protection against abuse. The status quo is not possible, we must pass laws. And make sure that the best interests of the children come first in all circumstances.

→ CHRONICLE. Outside of school, parents set other educational priorities

I understand the concerns of families and even some Members who receive letters of warning from associations or the parents concerned. I would like to reassure them of the reasons for the permit: medical condition or disability; performing intensive sports or artistic activities; family homelessness in France or geographical distance from school; the existence of a specific situation specific to the child. This fourth reason must remain open enough not to forget real situations: bullying at school, specific learning disabilities, intellectual prematurity, etc. Don’t do evil by wanting too much to do good. The parliamentary debate has just begun and it remains to be clarified that the issues, in particular the means of appeal in the event of rejection.

There is education, prevention and punishment to fight separatism. Consolidating respect for the principles of the republic means an interest in education. This balanced framework for home education completes the legislative work begun a few years ago: the School of Trust Act of 2019, which fights attempts at indoctrination in the immediate vicinity of public facilities, and the Gatel Act of 2018 on the opening of private educational facilities out of contract.

→ MAINTENANCE. Separatism: The Catholic Church is concerned about the effects of the bill

There are two dead spots that this bill addresses: home education and the administrative closure of establishments that have been opened illegally or do not respect the principles of the republic. »

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