Does national education sufficiently train its teachers to respond to attacks on secularism? Clearly no, responds Jean-Pierre Obin, former inspector general of national education, in a report submitted to the Minister of Education, Monday, June 14. Already author of a particularly alarming report in 2004 on respect for secularism at school, the author of How we let Islamism penetrate the school (Hermann, 2020) was commissioned on 1is February, by the Minister of Education, Jean-Michel Blanquer, to make proposals on teacher training, in the context of the bill reinforcing respect for the principles of the Republic, but also of the Grenelle for education, which revealed a request on the subject – and in the wake of the “incidents” which punctuated the school tributes to Samuel Paty, assassinated on October 16 by an Islamist terrorist.
In a text of about fifteen pages, that The world was able to consult, Jean-Pierre Obin reports a “Intellectual confusion” found after questioning teachers, students and national education staff on their definitions of secularism and republican values. It proposes a training plan which would make it possible, in four years, to offer a “First level of formation in secularism” to staff, through a day of training in each school in the area.
Jean-Michel Blanquer took note of this, detailing, on Monday, the main points retained. Faithful to the report’s proposals, national education will launch a four-year training plan from the start of the 2021 school year. 1000 trainers will first follow an intensive course, before shining in “Every school, college or high school”, the ministry said in a press release. The training provided in the establishments will be “Of all staff, whatever their status”.
The initial training of teachers is also evolving, in accordance with the proposals of Jean-Pierre Obin: “benchmarks” on secularism have been sent to the Inspé, the university centers in which candidates prepare for teaching competitions, to “Facilitate preparation” of the admission test, which includes an evaluation on the transmission of the values of the Republic. An anthology of reference texts on secularism should also be published and distributed to all schools and educational establishments.
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