When compulsory education in French schools no longer seems quite so compulsory


Ministers have made it clear that some schools may have to close in the mornings this winter if France undergoes selective power cuts to cope with energy demand. Coming three years after the first Covid lockdowns, when schools were systematically closed, this policy once again raises questions over the priority being given to ensuring that France's schools remain open and that pupils keep learning. In this op-ed article, Mediapart's education correspondent Mathilde Goanec argues that the universal principle of compulsory education for all is now coming under constant attack.

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There will always be a good reason, a very good reason to close schools. If it is not Covid or the icy weather, then one can point to the fact that there are staff shortages because teaching is no longer an attractive profession or, to take the latest example, blame the current bronchiolitis epidemic among children in the country.