El Haïry: “You have to be brave to be a teacher, and explain that an abaya is a denominational outfit”

720 attacks on secularism were reported and listed by the National Education services for the month of October. They would essentially concern the wearing of ostentatious religious symbols, through the wearing of clothing deemed to be religious in nature, such as abayas and qamis. However, the ministry refuses to give explicit instructions on the matter, and prefers to let each establishment assess the situation. “We cannot publish a catalog of all the clothes that could be religious. This is why the heads of establishments must look precisely at the visible signs, ”explained Minister Pap Ndiaye in an interview with the newspaper. The world. Guest this Friday of the show ” Extra Local “, on Public Senate, the Secretary of State in charge of Youth, Sarah El Haïry, estimated that there was a phenomenon of instrumentalization around these clothes, via the influence of social networks.

“A habit can be religious by destination, and in this context, yes, you have to punish,” she said. “You have to be brave today to be a teacher in college or high school, and go and explain that an abaya is a confessional outfit, especially when you are filmed asking to take it off”, admits Sarah El Haïry which evokes “voluntary provocations, even if it means endangering a teacher. “This is what we see with TikTok,” she notes.

“Where are the parents? Where are the actors of the educational continuum? »

“The debate on the abaya and the qamis leads us to ask ourselves what college, high school and school are. These are places like no other. Imagining that we could have all the freedoms there would be wrong, ”continues our guest. “We are free to wear these clothes, but outside of middle school and high school, which must be sanctuaries where critical thinking is nurtured. »

This government official also invokes the responsibility of families, and the need to build a dialogue with parents. “We put everything on the back of the school, but who are the big resigners in this story. Where are the parents? Where are the actors of the educational continuum? A child should not leave home with the outfit he wants without, at one time or another, a remark or attention, ”she explains.

“Making the uniform compulsory in college or high school would create an unnamed controversy”

The now monthly publication of figures on attacks on secularism puts the question of ostentatious religious symbols in school, prohibited by the 2004 law, back in the spotlight. presented by some as a response to this type of controversy. The Minister of National Education said he was in favor of setting up a working group on this issue in the National Assembly. “The uniform makes it possible to have cohesion, behind there is unity, the feeling of belonging to a collective, the fact of transferring the marks of the debate between young people and thus temporarily erasing social differences”, maintains Sarah El Hairy.

“It’s a path, there are establishments that do it. I have never been opposed to it, I think it soothes, ”says the Secretary of State. “Now, these have to be school projects, which get everyone on board, because making the uniform compulsory in college or high school would create an unnamed controversy, whereas it could appease. »

El Haïry: “You have to be brave to be a teacher, and explain that an abaya is a denominational outfit”