A recent report that included over 30 experts from different disciplines revealed that the education system in France has been failing students for several decades. The study points out the failure known as education priority areas. IT’s a policy that both liberal and conservative politicians are pursuing.
The report notes that the areas have become educational ghettoes, rejected by wealthier families and used primarily by children from poor families. The study argues that the school system has caused the inequalities. The study was commissioned by an independent body that was created by the French government.
The reported is based on research done by almost 40 experts. That includes education experts, sociologists, researchers, and economists from France and other countries. The study was overseen by CNESCO that was formed in 2013. It includes results after 3 decades of education reform.
In a related issue, the country recently scrapped plans to teach children regarding equality between boy/girl students. This followed protests by parents who were concerned it was an indirect attempt to end gender differences. This showed an example of the Socialist government is unable to keep its promises and showed the ability of conservative Catholics to have an effect on policy.
A minority has become more influential in countering the leftist government in France on various social issues. It had other issues that it was able to oppose. The education ministry of France stated that it would replace the ABCD of the Equality program. It was introduced to some schools earlier in the year. The goal was to encourage boys and girls to see themselves and opportunities as equal. The policy was trialed in 275 schools and was attacked by various Roman Catholic leaders, far-right politicians, and even some parents groups.
Critics of the plan argued that the plan insulted the professions that have been mostly female in the past. They also feared that it promoted gender theory that would deny that there are any differences between boys and girls.
Officials stated that teachers would get new training when the school year started in September. They also stated that the teachers would determine how to deal with the issue of fairness among sexes, and especially among young students.
France’s education minister stated that the goal of the government wasn’t to deny differences among genders but instead to show that boys and girls are both equal. He claimed the government wanted to prevent people from forming the idea at school that there would be jobs/ training/diplomas for girls, and another set for boys.
Some feminist groups opposed to the government’s backtracking. Meanwhile, others stated that it was the right move. One group that supported the ending of ABCD argued the government didn’t do enough. It stated that gender stereotypes are references for kids and they need such references.
One teacher union head stated that the atmosphere that puts teachers in the middle of the debate doesn’t help in achieving equality between boys and girls. He stated that it’s an issue that must be addressed. The Liberal government faced opposition from groups like Catholics, Muslims, and far-right groups.