It is a first in the metropolis. Upon returning from the All Saints holiday on Monday, primary school students from Provins can come to class with a uniform. "Vector of equality" for some, "demagogue and useless" for others: the arrival of the uniform in the public schools of the city of Provins shares the parents as much as it harms educational specialists. Not compulsory, the new outfit "will be worn by almost half of the students," says Olivier Lavenka, mayor (LR) of this sub-prefecture of Seine-et-Marne, at the origin of the measure. "It's an experiment, we'll take stock in a few years: for 137 euros each child has a straight cut trousers, a sky blue vest, polo shirts embroidered with the Republican motto and a bomber style coat. free is provided to the most humble families.
Noah, 8 years old in group 2, wears the new school uniform. "I'm a bit scared," he says before he arrives at the gates of his school. "But I am happy because we are dressed like Harry Potter." "I was worried it was old, but in the end it is more in tune with time," says Samantha Pelladé, 25, who took it for his daughter in CE1. "For me it is very important that children are dressed in the same way, there will be no jealousy between the children of the poor and the children of the rich," she says. A charm for Sabine, 51, mother of a pupil in CM2: "Uniform or non-uniform, there will always be a distinction between those with a pair of brand shoes and the other not." For the Marais school in the city center, few people dare proudly wear new uniform and jeans and sweatshirts with the image of superheroes remain the order of the vast majority of school children. "I have ordered the uniform for my daughter, but we still have not got it back", says Aktas Ayse, the mother of a classmate in CP. "And when I see the few children who carry it this morning, I think we did well to wait a bit. "Or everyone wears it, nobody, I think that is completely absurd," she adds.
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A municipal consultation
In Provins the implementation of the uniform is on everyone's lips. "Within families there has already been tensions between those who are against and those who are against it," said Philippe Milville, deputy of the department for education in Seine-et-Marne, who regrets that the invested municipal funds are not for educational purposes. projects. In June the town hall had organized a consultation: 62% of the parents had voted to wear the uniform. This measure is intended to emphasize " […] what comes together and not what divides, "argues the mayor, who wishes to emphasize that the unique school uniform exists in many countries," but also in Martinique or Guadeloupe. "" Easier in the morning to dress the children "," the feeling to hear the reinforced educational community "," social differences weaken ": for the school the uniform participates in" a better school climate ".
An illusion for Jean-Yves Rochex, professor of education at the Paris-8 University: "It is powder in the eyes," he annoys. "We can put all the uniforms we want, it will not solve the inequalities in the school environment." The researcher sees a demagogic measure & # 39; proposed by some politicians to nourish a reactionary nostalgia for a school that has never existed & # 39; Faced with the crisis in the school, "the myth of primary school of yore" has developed, said Jean-Yves Rochex. "Yet school in the fifties of the last century was much more unequal than it is now."
Jean-Michel Blanquer in favor of the uniform
In recent years, the issue of the uniform school uniform has returned to the public debate. Three legislative proposals have been submitted for this since 2013. During the 2017 campaign, two presidential candidates, François Fillon and Marine Le Pen, also proposed the "return to uniform". But "in the primary, there has never been!" Says Claude Lelièvre, historian of education. "They wore the blouse and they were usually different from each other, the only tool, protecting clothing from ink stains, and" she disappeared at the end of the sixties with the appearance of the pen. "" Finally, we do not know if it's a the size is from rear guard or avant-garde, "he joked.
The mayor of Provins had launched this idea after the Minister of Education Jean-Michel Blanquer had spoken in favor of the uniform in the schools that wish it. Disappointing the opposition against this measure "of people whose job it is to create a split," the minister said in June that "it is a matter that must be impartial, concrete and must be very positive".
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