Kairos n°12

We could have devoted an entire volume to the school. We had to limit ourselves. We did not want to focus on the few positive elements that we could have gleaned from the school field, because given the general state of affairs, they would have served only as a cover. We wanted to show how bad things are in Belgian education. But besides saying what the school is, we also wanted to show what it could be, what it is elsewhere, and tried to be here. Our critical view is not pessimistic in itself, as this attitude is rather on the side of those who continue to think that « everything is fine » and that « where there is a will there is a way ». This issue closes with different proposals and experiences from which we can learn.

If there is one thing to remember, apart from the fact that a society with a completely different school is possible and desirable, it is the profound inequality that characterizes Belgian education, and to which the government’s little measures will not change anything, except to make us believe that they can bring about a change.

As Ivan Illich stated in A Society Without Schools:  « Many people continue to believe, wrongly, that school deserves public trust, that it fulfills this role, even though it is now only the holder of a monopoly and, far from equalizing opportunities, it ensures their distribution. Ivan Illich, « A Society Without Schools », Complete Works, vol.1, p.223.

« Blindness to social inequalities condemns and authorizes the explanation of all inequalities, particularly in school success, as natural inequalities, inequalities of gifts. Such an attitude is consistent with the logic of a system which, based on the postulate of the formal equality of all teachers, a condition of its functioning, cannot recognize any other inequalities than those which are due to individual gifts ».

Pierre Bourdieu and Jean-Claude Passeron, Les héritiers, Les Éditions de Minuit, Paris, 1964, p.103



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