“The school must cultivate brotherhood,” said the Secretary General of Catholic Education

In France, every sixth child is educated privately under a contract. Shemseddine, aged 15, was beaten by masked men with gloves outside his school in Viry-Ch√Ętillon. With the help of an ambulance, he died late Friday afternoon as a result of his injuries. Like him, several teenagers have been attacked in recent weeks in France outside their facilities. “We are touched by all these tragedies and we are united to mourn and reflect,” responds Philippe Delorme, general secretary of Catholic education. According to these attacks, “they call into question our society”. He calls for “getting out of ideological positions and working on the territory in order to understand these absolute tragedies and fight against them”. Philippe Delorme assures that he is not aware of similar tragedies in Catholic education “but we are never sure”, he says.

“The school must foster education in brotherhood”

“the school must nurture fraternal education”, assures the general secretary of Catholic Education. Emmanuel Macron called the school to be a “sanctuary”. “Students must learn in conditions where they feel protected from external aggression and within the institution itself they must be open to the world and society,” judges Philippe Delorme.

Is there an “in-between” in private education? “I think we are choosing an educational project that meets the expectations of a certain number of families,” says Philippe Delorme. In the private sector, education can sometimes cost several thousand euros a year. “A certain number of Muslim families choose us because they know that we can talk about God in our schools. The Catholic school is open to everyone,” he says.

“A private education student costs taxpayers half as much as a public education student”

LFI member Paul Vannier and his Renaissance colleague Christopher Weissberg submitted their report this Tuesday on a sensitive topic: public funding of private education. Paul Vannier condemned the “backtracking” and lack of control over this funding. National Education gives the numbers: 13.8 billion euros in 2022 were spent on private education, 10.4 billion in total in public money per year. “The rewards are there,” assures Philippe Delorme. According to him, “there is no opacity” in private education. “A private education student costs taxpayers half as much as a public education student,” assures the general secretary of Catholic education.

There is also the issue of diversity: according to the Court of Auditors, students from privileged backgrounds represented 55% of the workforce in 2021 compared to 32% in the general public, a strong increase in the very privileged, 40% versus 26%. “Catholic teachings should not be generalized”, according to Philippe Delorme. “We are located in large metropolises and these large metropolises have gentrified in the last ten years, it is true, we have lost a certain number of middle-class families, but no head of the establishment ever refuses to enroll a student because of his social background,” he assures.

Regarding religious education classes in private schools, Philippe Delorme reminds that they must be optional. “They are not always like that, so I am in favor of controls, it is the counterpart of our freedom”, according to him.

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