After President Macron’s announcement on the strict limitation of school at home, Manuele Lang, president of the association childhood free in Mulhouse, denounces an amalgamation and hopes for mobilization.
By announcing this Friday a stricter control of schools out of contract and the limitation except for health imperatives of homeschooling from the next school year, a phenomenon which would concern the 50,000 children in France, President Emmanuel Macron had to expect to provoke strong reactions. Home school supporters, very active on social media, were quick to mobilize, expressing their disbelief or their outrage. There is no question, for example, for Manuele Lang, president of the association childhood free and promoter of a democratic school project in Mulhouse, of giving up what she considers to be her right to instruct her child.
Were you surprised by this announcement? In addition to this, you want to know more about it.
I’m not surprised, not even angry. Our demand for more freedom isn’t heard, as we know. The National Education is not able to see what is proposed as a new model of instruction, a benevolent accompaniment, without abuse or phobia, with good results during the awarding of diplomas. The first question the academy inspectors ask is if you belong to a religious community. That is because some Islamist families prevent little girls from having access to education; I understand that. But it is not for the National Education, which has its filter and exerts domination, pressure on parents, to carry out these checks; it is the role of town halls. That is what they do every two years; they check the material conditions of the children enrolled in family education.
Do you see an amalgam?
Yes, there is an amalgamation which made, it is a problem and especially a pretext because, during the confinement, many people realized what it was the family instruction, either by going through the End (National Center for Distance Education) or by listening to children and letting them decide for themselves their place of learning. They saw little ones who were smiling and no longer had stomach aches. There is a before and an after. Many families reacted on our forum and said they were ready to take the plunge and enroll their children in the democratic school that we want to open. Today, about fifty of them are interested, but we still lack funds and premises in Mulhouse.
Are you worried about the future?
Family education is a right; it has never been said that school is compulsory for everyone; we will see what the reality of this announcement will be. More significant associations like UNIE [National Union for Education and Development, Editor’s note] or LED’A (Children first) are in a crisis cell, but we have been getting organized for years. We fight for the children; we do not seek conflict nor to put ourselves on the sidelines. But that is what is likely to happen, as more and more people go abroad or no longer register their children, they leave the system.