Row after French authorities demand data on pupils absent from school during Muslim festival

The revelation that dozens of schools in southern France were asked to provide data on the number of pupils who had been absent during the festival of Eid has sparked controversy. Some of the schools involved refused, fearing that the demand was a form of discrimination. Senior education officials who had appeared to support the requests later backtracked, telling schools they did not have to comply with them. Meanwhile the Ministry of the Interior has got itself in a tangle trying to explain the reasons for requesting this data. Mathilde Goanec reports.

Reading articles is for subscribers only. Login

France's Ministry of the Interior is at the centre of controversy after it emerged that dozens of schools in the country were asked to provide details on how many pupils were absent from the classroom during the recent Muslim festival of Eid. In some cases the demand for information related to absenteeism during Ramadan too. The revelations, which some fear shows evidence of potential discrimination against Muslims, have shocked the teaching community.

1€ for 15 days

Can be canceled online at any time

I subscribe

Only our readers can buy us

Support a 100% independent newspaper: without subsidies, without advertising, without shareholders

Get your information from a trusted source

Get exclusive access to revelations from an investigative journal

Already subscribed ?

Forgot password ?

See Journal’s homepage