Macron Supports School Uniforms In France

One of the hottest topics for France’s National Assembly is the introduction of school uniforms back into school. First Lady Brigitte Macron has made it public to bring uniforms back, believing it will eliminate social inequality in French schools, again?

Innovating fashion and culture are some of the things France is known for; however, resolute notions on school uniforms continue to be a part of the political conversation in the education system. One of Napoleon’s first rules to control French schools were mandatory uniforms so he can “indoctrinate the masses with the right principles”. School uniforms have not been enforced since 1968 — the same year in which revolutionary student protests pushed France into modern times. Just like then, the National Assembly continues to evaluate existing circumstances for the betterment of the future.

Equality between children

The thought of school uniforms has never fully faded the minds of the political agenda. Military academies and Private schools rarely have students wear uniforms; most notably in French territories located in Africa and South America. Six public schools in Provins, a small town southeast of Paris, restored wearing uniforms in 2018. Former Minister of Education Jean-Michel Blanquer supported favor of school uniforms, assuring that it encourages “equality between children” publicly. 

Fast-forward to 2023 and Macron finds the issue to be a solution, again. Working as an educator for twenty years and wearing a uniform for fifteen years, she acknowledges that “it erases differences” and “saves time”. Adjunct factors she compliments reinstating derives from her fear of social status being a distraction to student’s education. Minister of Education Pap Ndiaye does not believe it will solve the educational problem. 

Her right-wing counterparts of the parliament opposes, believing it doesn’t affect the inequality of education at all. Why discuss when there are serious issues at hand such as improving academic performance and discipline? Stephanie Meiria, a local parent of one of Provins’ public schools, says it best in her 2018 interview when explaining the issue. “They (students) are going to be faced with social differences their entire lives”.

Featured Image by: Ludovic MARIN/ POOL/AFP via Getty Images

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