French President Emmanuel Macron has announced on Friday his intention to outlaw homeschooling in 2021 for all children unless they have a medical exemption that forces them to stay away from schools, Life Site News reports.
According to the report, the President said the government would also step up control of self-funded, private and independent schools, through inspections of curricula and by strong enforcement of a new law that requires private schools to teach a “common core” defined by the state.
The announcement comes as part of Macron’s plan to combat “Islamic separatism” and to “free Islam in France from foreign influences.”
“The goal of training and promoting in France a generation of Imams and intellectuals who defend an Islam fully compatible with the values of the Republic is a necessity,” Macron told an audience in Les Mureaux, Paris.
Although the President said he intends to end the system that allows Imams to train overseas, some have suggested he may be using “radical Islam” to garner public support for the move which would simultaneously undermine the freedoms and rights of Christian parents.
According to Macron, his aim is to “protect children from religion,” and that includes Christianity.
“School is the republican melting pot,” he said. “It’s what makes it possible for us to protect our children in a complete way from any religious sign, from religion.
“It is truly the heart of the space of secularism, and it is this place where we form consciences so that children become free, rational citizens, able to choose their own lives. The school is therefore our collective treasure. It is what allows us in our society to build this common thing that is the Republic.”
Macron went on to say:
On this subject, in the face of all these excesses that exclude thousands of children from education to citizenship, from access to culture, to our history, to our values, to the experience of otherness that is at the heart of the republican school, I have made a decision — and I realize this, and we have debated it a lot with the ministers — that is no doubt one of the most radical since the laws of 1882 and those ensuring school co-education between boys and girls in 1969. From the start of the 2021 school year, school instruction will be made compulsory for all from the age of 3. Homeschooling will be strictly limited, particularly to health reasons. We are therefore changing our paradigm, and it is vital.
The new law comes into force in 2021-2022 for children aged between 3 to 16. Parents who choose to educate their own children in France must register annually and undergo yearly inspections.
Control the textbooks, control the state.