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School teaches sexism – report

Selection of schools to trial 'equality teaching' from September

A REPORT by school inspectors has highlighted that schools continue to enforce stereotypes and inequality between the sexes.

The report by the l'inspection générale de l'éducation nationale highlights attitudes such as:

- Choosing girls to look after the class while the teacher is briefly absent because they are more responsible.

- Giving preferential treatment to boys because they are supposed to struggle more at school

- Marking boys in terms of cognitive ability, while marking girls on the basis of positive attitude.

Over half of girls pass through to terminale (ages 17+), without repeating a year, compared to 40% of boys. However girls are much less likely to pursue sciences, compared to their counterparts in Asia and the Middle East.

The report, entitled L'égalité entre filles et garçons dans les écoles et les établissements, predicts “strong resistance and negative reactions” from attempts to place a greater focus on gender equality in schools. “The consensus [on equality] breaks up from the moment one brings up the notion of gender, stereotypes and positive discrimination,” it says.

It recommends more training for teachers on the subject of gender equality.

Next month children and teachers at 500 schools and 10 academies will take part in a new program called the ABCD de l'Egalité and Women’s Rights Minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem said it would have workshops aimed at “stopping young children from absorbing ideas about the inequality of the sexes”.

The effect of the course will be monitored with a view to rolling it out across the country.

Photo: Prod. Numérik -

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