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French schools must display Republican motto

Ben McPartland · 23 May 2013, 10:51

Published: 23 May 2013 10:51 GMT+02:00

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France’s Education Minister Vincent Peillon stressed recently his desire to instil the values of the French Republic in the country’s school children.

Well his quest will have been helped with a ruling in the Senate this week, which states the French Revolutionary motto of Liberté, Egalité and Fraternité should be proudly displayed on the facade of all schools, including private ones that are "under contract" with the state.

Not only this, but the Senate ruled that the French Tricolour must be flown outside each establishment and the 1789 “Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen” must also be “visibly” on show at each school.

The new rulings were part of an amendment to the education reform bill, that senators began reviewing on Wednesday.

Many French schools already fly the Tricolour flag but there is currently no obligation under law for them to do so.

“This is to reaffirm the bond between the school and the nation and to contribute to the pupils’ learning of the foundations of the constitution,” said Peillon.

President Francois Hollande vowed to make young people the focus of his presidency before his election last year. The education bill put for forward by Peillon includes a commitment to create 60,000 new jobs in education.

Story continues below…

However France’s national audit office, the Cour Des Comptes issued a strongly worded report this week criticizing the management of teachers, saying this was the reason behind a decline in student achievement and a crisis in teaching.

“The creation of 60,000 new jobs will be in vain if the management rules are left unchanged,” the report said.

Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

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