Published the 22nd November 2020 by Actions Politiques
As parliamentarians from all sides mobilise to preserve educational freedoms, Le Parisien this week showed that the proposed ban on home education (IEF – Instruction en Familie) beginning at the start of the school year in 2021 is the work of one man, Jupiter. At the same time the United Nations preaches to France about the decline of liberty in a right wing country.
Reading the Parisien from the 19th of November, home educating families (IEF) understand where the wind in the sails of the 2nd of October announcement comes from; the charge that threatens their life choices,. https://www.leparisien.fr/politique/separatisme-l-histoire-tourmentee-d-un-projet-de-loi-brulant-19-11-2020-8409223.php
The project of law is underway but the president is still is groping around to find where the text will land.
He has surprised us on other occasions. For example during the meeting with the ministers organised on September the 17th 2020.
Jean-Michel Blanquer evoked the rampant deregistration of students from school and “suggests locating them by crossing schools roles with social aid data to identify the families in question and better target their regulation”. Macron replies: “We should be more ambitious. Let’s instead look at means to ban home education outright”. “Blanquer was astounded. He had not dared go so far, convinced he would not be followed”, said a participant. Astonishing to say the least.
In the wake of Macron’s 2nd of October 2020 announcement to ban home education (IEF), in the Vademecum of the National Education Department (a document outlining home education in France) we find:
“Following the announcement fro the President of the Republic on the 2nd of October 2020, school attendance will be obligatory for all, ages 3 years and up from the return to school in 2021. This will result in the strict limitation of home education, specifically for health requirements”.
In passing, the services of J-M Blanquer, Doctor of Constitutional Law, does not burden themselves with the legislative process which requires that a law be voted and enacted before being imposed on the population. This week, it was with the discretion of the scent of a violet that these few lines have been withdrawn from the Vademecum, realign with the separation of powers and due process. https://eduscol.education.fr/2212/l-instruction-dans-la-famille
A Lively Debate Promised at the Assemblée
We no longer hear anything from J-M Blanquer defending the designs of his president. There is a storm on the horizon of the Hémicycle of the National Assembly.
This week no fewer than 80 deputies (elected parliamentary officials) replied to the invitation of Anne-Laure Blin, LR deputy of Maine-et-Loire, who organised a video conference with the associations who represent home educating families. https://twitter.com/AnneLaureBlin/status/1329456631189557248/photo/4
This parliamentarian stated “I share the governments concern to fight the islamic politicalisation and radicalisation but home education (IEF) is the wrong target. The target is underground schools. Banning home education is an attack on educational freedom”.
Since the government seems inclined to trample constitutional rights, a number of parliamentarians are breaking rank. Fabien Gouttefarde, député LREM from the Eure, who participated in this meeting https://www.facebook.com/photo?fbid=10160639450122729&set=gm.10158526083377110
soberly said: “Education is compulsory, not school”.
Cédric Villiani went further. In an interview in L’Opinion on the 19th of November the parlimentary député from Paris, former LREM, promised “a lively debate at the Assembly on the subject of the banning of home education”. He also sent a substantial letter to Jean Castex on the 3rd of November and seems to understand the issues which lead to home education. For him “not all means are justified in the fight against separatism”. https://www.lopinion.fr/edition/politique/cedric-villani-tous-moyens-ne-sont-pas-bons-lutter-contre-separatisme-229610
The United Nations Reprimand France
Since the French government wanted the press to register at the prefecture in order to exercise their freedom of press, the United Nations reminded the country which is the birthplace of human rights…what human rights are. Alerted by the Human Rights League, the international organisation called France to order on the Global Security Act which was debated on the 18th of November at the Assembly. https://www.ldh-france.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Rapport-Haut-commissaire-aux-droits-de-lHomme-ONU.pdf
To be precise: “The project of law, which emerges in the general context of the fight against terrorism, also seems to reflect a lack of precision which could undermine the rule of law”. Inspiring!
Gérald Darmanin who sees “little phantoms of the republic” everywhere but unable to provide figures connecting extremism and home education, could not have said it better into the microphone of Europe 1 on the 18th of November, concerning freedom of expression. At 13 mins he freely exclaims: “we have the right to be shocked by something but we have no right to prohibit it. This freedom of expression, must be accepted”. (…) “It has to be understood that France is a country of liberty. Liberty, liberty cherie. (…) France is so well loved because of this liberty”. Beautiful sentiment. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYfob7EPqxU
The Association Les enfants D’Abord (LED’A – Children First) and the 1275 member families who chose educational freedom for their children are waiting for action. That the government withdraws from their project of law against separatism (strengthening secularism and the principals of the republic) the component which bans home education. The freedom of education should not only be reserved for the few individuals given permission from an authority. It is a constitutional right, full stop.