Fuss after interview with Ecolo chairwoman in school book: ‘Party political propaganda at school is not possible’

Fuss after interview with Ecolo chairwoman in school book: ‘Party political propaganda at school is not possible’
Fuss after interview with Ecolo chairwoman in school book: ‘Party political propaganda at school is not possible’

Minister of Education in the French Community Caroline Désir (PS) requests an administrative inquiry into an interview with Ecolo co-chair Rajae Maouane in a French-language school textbook for secondary education. Party political propaganda at school is not allowed, she emphasizes.

The interview is part of an exercise in a Plantyn publisher’s handbook intended for French classes in the lower years of secondary education, and takes up two full pages in the book, the news site reported. LN24 Thursday morning.

The text is not from a newspaper or magazine, but was drawn up as a result of an interview between the publisher and the green politician herself. She talks about her political career, her priorities and her role models.

Minister of Education of the French Community Caroline Désir (PS) requests an administrative inquiry. “Based on the facts we have at the moment, the situation clearly deserves a thorough review,” she says. Publishers must comply with education regulations that prohibit any form of party political propaganda, her cabinet clarifies.

Prime Minister Pierre-Yves Jeholet (MR) also questions the interview. “An interview that spreads political propaganda in textbooks has no place in school,” he says. Maouane himself also gets a sneer. “To answer that question was a clumsiness at best, a mistake at worst.”

The Ecolo co-chair herself responds briefly via Twitter. “I am of course not responsible for the editorial choices of editors and publishers, whose editorial freedom I respect 1,000 percent. It is important to me to show young people that politics can also be the domain of youth and women, separate from my own party’, says Maouane.

‘Lack of vigilance’

At Plantyn they acknowledge in a response to Belgium that there has been a ‘clear lack of vigilance’. “Clearly, this interview does not belong in a textbook, as it conflicts with the constant concern for neutrality that Plantyn seeks to ensure in all his books,” it reads. “Plantyn will review its internal editorial control processes to ensure that such an error does not recur in the future.”

The publisher adds that the interview in question was in no way intended as political propaganda and “directly contradicts the clearly defined rules on political content in schools”. Plantyn promises that a revised version of the affected textbook will be made available free of charge to all schools via the Scoodle platform ‘in the coming days’. The schools that have purchased the book will receive a revised paper version afterwards.


The article is in Dutch

Belgium

Tags: Fuss interview Ecolo chairwoman school book Party political propaganda school

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