A National Education teacher decided to testify on condition of anonymity in a book published this week. He claims to have had to wall himself in a silence imposed by the National Education in the face of the rise of Islamism in school. The education unions react to the release of this book.
It is a book that shakes the National Education, which was published this week. “These little renunciations that kill” (Seuil), written by journalist Carine Azzopardi, translates the cry of alarm from a teacher who claims to have had to comply with the law of silence in his classroom, as he is unable to to broach delicate subjects with his students. The interested party points, among other things, to the silence of National Education in the face of the rise of Islamism in schools.
From the mouth of the education unions, the feeling of insecurity and the phenomenon of self-censorship which overwhelm some teachers already existed long before the murder of Samuel Paty in October 2020. “This follows a general movement to reposition the National Education, says Norman Gourrier, Secretary General of the National Union of Colleges and High Schools (SNCL). For twenty years, the intrusion and interference of families and parents of students in the overall management of National Education, is increasingly strong. »
Teachers left alone in front of families, pupils, parents and even in front of the administration of their establishment: the SNCL believes today that the word of the teacher weighs less and less in the debate.
The union also believes that the points of the programs which have become problematic have multiplied in recent years: “We know today that the evocation of human reproduction and the diagram of human anatomy pose problems for certain pupils, affirms Norman Gourrier. We are also witnessing challenges in modern literature programs because the teacher addresses discourses of deconstruction specific to certain Enlightenment thinkers, which can be contested in relation to a slavery past. »
So many elements which, according to the union, push teachers to self-censorship: “Some teachers, as we know, have given up teaching certain parts of their program so as not to put themselves in danger”, supports the general secretary.
Poorly trained teachers on these issues?
On the side of the Union of Teachers of Unsa, it would above all be a question of ensuring that teachers are properly trained on the sensitive themes of school programs. “What we observe is a serious lack of training for teachers in the principles of secularism, believes Rémy Sirvent, secretary general of the Cnal and national secretary of the SE-UNSA. When you consider yourself poorly trained, very quickly, the phenomena of self-censorship set in. “According to the trade unionist, this problem will be all the more important in this return to school in 2022, when the government wishes to hire 3,000 contract workers: “They will have no concept of teaching the principle of secularism”, fears Rémy Sirvent.
On the other hand, the absence of social diversity in French classrooms could also slow down the development of learning: “It is in classrooms where social diversity is lacking that disputes of a religious nature are the most important, insists Remy Servent. When there is no mix, we witness phenomena of intellectual confinement that prevent thinking. »