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Schools failing immigrants

Schools are failing to integrate immigrant children into their community

SCHOOLS are failing to integrate immigrant children into their community, so much so that some students are even rejecting “the culture and values of the French Republic”.

In a report to prime minister François Fillon the High Council on Immigration has said that ethno-cultural tensions were high and that pupils were no longer “automatically” acquiring multicultural values.

Inspectors found that lessons on the Holocaust, religion or the Middle East were being disrupted, as were science lessons owing to religious views of creation.

Mr Fillon has been told that some schools have high concentrations of immigrant children: while immigrant children were just 20 per cent of the school population in general, in some areas this was vastly exceeded, so that French values were no longer to the fore.

The report says: “This relative over-representation is higher than 60 per cent in 20 municipalities, most of which are in the Greater Paris area.”

In suburbs such as La Courneuve, Aubervilliers and Clichy-sous-Bois, nearly three quarters of the schoolchildren are of foreign origin.

Cities in the west of France were also affected. In Blois, a third of pupils are said to be of immigrant origin, but some schools have a majority of foreign children, more than 80 per cent being from the Maghreb, sub-Saharan Africa or Turkey.

School visits by the HCI revealed that some schools were “now a place where new demands are being found that originate from a refusal of multiculturalism, religious identity issues and even the rejection of the culture and values of the French Republic”.

The HCI has also called for nursery schooling to be made obligatory after it discovered that some immigrant children were starting primary school with a vocabulary of only 400 words, compared to an average of 1,500 for children from well-off families, putting the immigrant children at an immediate disadvantage.

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