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Back to school for France’s students as the abaya ban reigns supreme

About 12 million students are returning to its schools today of France with the recent ban on the Muslim abaya (the long and loose dress worn over clothing) taking hold. Interior Minister Gerald Darmanen sent a message to law enforcement to underline “the sensitive nature of this return to school» about attacks against secularism in schools.

“There are 513 building installations that we have identified as potentially problematic in terms of this issue at the start of the school year,” French Education Minister Gabriel Atal told RTL radio. The general secretary of the CGT union, Sophie Binet, for her part, considered it “very dangerous to go back to school in the wake of the ban” which, she claims: “It hides the real questions” and “stigmatizes a segment of the population“, she said to the public channel France 2.

As provided for in the 2004 law that prohibits the use of obvious religious symbols, unruly students will be accepted by the institution but not in the classroom and a phase of dialogue between the family and the national education system will begin. While principals of educational institutions welcomed the ban, many teachers they believe that the abaya issue “should not hide the real problems on the ground”. Indeed, the start of the new school year is once again under tension due to the teacher recruitment crisis – a phenomenon not new but which has intensified since last year– with this year more than 3,100 vacancies in teacher competitions at national level.

THE Emmanuel Macron confirmed on Friday that the promise of “one teacher in every class” at the beginning of the school year will be “kept”, APE-MPE reports.

According to a poll by teachers’ union SE-Unsa, which was conducted among a sample of 2,000 people, 68% of teachers surveyed said they fear there will be a shortage of staff for the start of the school year.

Source: News Beast

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