La laïcité française versus Canadian Multiculturalism:
A Comparison of French and Canadian Education Systems regarding the issue of Religion and Schools
[...] In that case, the State provides for all expenses but those related to religious teaching and real estate investment. This law has been strongly opposed at least until the attempt of reforms of the 1984 and 1993. In 1984, under François Mitterand Presidency, the Education Minister Alain Savary (Socialist Party) proposed to fully integrate private schools in the public service. But demonstrations in favour of private school led to the failure of the reform. In 1986, some changes were made because of decentralisation law (primary school is the responsibility of cities, secondary school of department and high school of the region) but most of the provisions remained the same as provided by la loi Debré. [...]
[...] In Alsace and Moselle, la laïcité does not apply for historical reasons. Secularisation of the schools and the State in France took place between 1871 and 1914, and at that time those two regions belonged to Germany. When they were given back to France at the end of First World War, no change was made. Therefore, Alsace and Moselle are still submitted to the previous system of Concordat of 1801, which recognises and subsidises four religions (Catholic, Lutheran, Calvinist and Jewish). [...]
[...] Elle assure l'églaité devant la loi de tous les citoyens, sans distinction d'origine, de race ou de religion. Elle respecte toutes les croyance Guy Haarscher, (2004) Augies Fleras and Jean Leonard Elliott, The Challenge of Diversity: Multiculturalism in Canada (1992) Weiner (1989), quoted by Augies Fleras and Jean Leonard Elliott (1992) Kogila A. Moodley, “Multicultural Education in Canada: Historical Development and Current Status, in Handbook of Research on Multicultural Education, ed. James A. Banks (1995) William J. Smith and Willian F. [...]
[...] In France, the recent ban on any ostentatious sign of religious or political membership (including the hijab) in public schools, given the situation of Muslims in France (victim of prejudices in housing, employment, the everydaylife ) will certainly not favour integration of French Muslims if it does not make things worse. In that case, maybe France has to learn from Canada. No one can expect immigrants to understand the humanist principles underlying la laïcité française if no real integration policy is conducted at the same time. Therefore, despite the differences, both countries have something to learn from each other. Bibliography Canada General: Kogila A. Moodley, “Multicultural Education in Canada: Historical Development and Current Status, in Handbook of Research on Multicultural Education, ed. James A. [...]
[...] However, Canadian multiculturalism is framed by the liberal context. To identify what sorts of collective claims are acceptable from a liberal point of view, Kymlicka provides a distinction between “internal constraints” and “external protections”. Internal constraint is to impose on the individuals of a group a restriction on their liberties in the name of the protection of the group (to avoid effects of “internal dissidence”). External protection is the idea of preserved identity of a group within a larger society and against external decision (for example, of this very society). [...]
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