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France

Empower Civil Society to Support Schools (FR0022)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: France, First Action Plan, 2015-17

Action Plan Cycle: 2015

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Ministry of National Education, Higher Education and Research; Ministry of Urban Affairs, Youth and Sport

Support Institution(s): NA

Policy Areas

E-Government, Public Participation, Public Service Delivery

IRM Review

IRM Report: France End-of-Term Report 2015-2017, France Mid-Term Progress Report 2015-2017

Starred: No

Early Results: Did Not Change Did Not Change

Design i

Verifiable: No

Relevant to OGP Values: Not Relevant

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

STAKES
School are opening themselves to contributions from citizens to provide their support to the transmission of the Republic’s values alongside public officials. This gives young volunteers for civic service an opportunity to participate in motivating and training actions amongst children and young people.

CONTEXT & AIM
On February 5th of 2015, the President of the Republic committed to making the civic service program "universal" by June 1st 2015. The Minister of National Education, Higher Education and Research, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, and the Minister of Urban Affairs, Youth and Sport, Patrick Kanner, will launch in September 2015 a large “service civique” (citizen service) program devoted to public education. President Hollande also called for the establishment of a civic reserve and assigned to the vice-president of the Council of State, Mr Jean-Marc Sauvé and to the selector of the French handball team, Mr Claude Onesta, an expert mission on the matter.
On January 22nd of 2015, the Minister of National Education, Higher Education and Research Najat Vallaud-Belkacem stated that creating a civic reserve for the public education would be a key objective in the mobilization of schools for the values of the Republic. The program was launched on 12 May 2015, on the occasion of the national concluding summary of the schools forum for the values of the Republic 30.

ROADMAP

• Empower young people to get involved via new civic service missions within schools
The Ministry of National Education, Higher Education and Research has a recruitment objective of 5,000 young people for civic service at the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year and 10,000 volunteers in 2016-2017. By the beginning of the 2017 school year, the objective is to offer 37,000 missions including missions run by associations within the school and university field. Civic service within schools is aimed at young people between 18 and 25 years old. It is a voluntary commitment that can last from 6 to 12 months (average commitment being about 8 months), from October/November 2015 to June 2016. The missions take place in elementary schools, high school, information and orientation centers or local education authorities. Priority is given to missions in elementary schools, priority education and boarding schools. The voluntary work is done in most cases by pairs of volunteers when the mission is carried out before pupils and aims to allow experience of social diversity and contact with the public and other volunteers of diverse backgrounds. The nine main types of mission of volunteers for civic service are: contribution to educative, teaching and civic responsibility activities in primary school; support to projects for education in citizen matters; support to actions and projects in the fields of artistic and cultural education and sport; support to actions and projects for education in sustainable development; organization of the national education department's civic reserve; contribution to the organization of the free time of boarders in developing new activities; prevention of addictions; information and support to young people who are failing at school or who wish to resume qualifying training; help with providing information and orientation to pupils.
• Allow citizens to support schools in the transmission of the Republic’s values: the national education department's civic reserve This new arrangement (as outlined in the circular dated May 12th 2015 31) allows adults who desire to have the opportunity to dedicate their time and provide their experience to serve schools, particularly in the following fields of expertise:
- Education in citizen matters and secularism (“laïcité”),
- Education in gender equality,
- Education in the media and information,
- The fight against racism, anti-semitism and all forms of discrimination,
- The connection between schools and the professional world.
For schools, this is an opportunity to mobilize and benefit from civil society’s strengths beyond the various components of the educational community and actors who also act in of associations, civic service or in the form of ad hoc intervention. Teachers may therefore regularly call upon external speakers to illustrate their teaching within classes. The associations, and more generally, all people and legal entities wishing to promote the national education department's civic reserve can be associated as civic reserve’s ambassadors. Several institutions are already involved in the national education department's civic reserve (National School of administration, Conferences of the university presidents, CDEFI, CEMEA, League of education, CNOUS, "les Francas", French network of educational cities, Association of members of the Order of Academic Palms). Reservists are also called upon, if they wish, to intervene in extracurricular activities

IRM End of Term Status Summary

19. Empower Civil Society to Support Schools

Commitment Text:

ROADMAP

1. Empower young people to get involved via new civic service missions within schools.

The Ministry of National Education, Higher Education and Research has a recruitment objective of 5,000 young people for civic service at the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year and 10,000 volunteers in 2016-2017. By the beginning of the 2017 school year, the objective is to offer 37,000 missions including missions run by associations within the school and university field.

Civic service within schools is aimed at young people between 18 and 25 years old. It is a voluntary commitment that can last from 6 to 12 months (average commitment being about 8 months), from October/November 2015 to June 2016. The missions take place in elementary schools, high school, information and orientation centers or local education authorities. Priority is given to missions in elementary schools, priority education and boarding schools.

The voluntary work is done in most cases by pairs of volunteers when the mission is carried out before pupils and aims to allow experience of social diversity and contact with the public and other volunteers of diverse backgrounds.

The nine main types of mission of volunteers for civic service are: contribution to educative, teaching and civic responsibility activities in primary school; support to projects for education in citizen matters; support to actions and projects in the fields of artistic and cultural education and sport; support to actions and projects for education in sustainable development; organization of the national education department's civic reserve; contribution to the organization of the free time of boarders in developing new activities; prevention of addictions; information and support to young people who are failing at school or who wish to resume qualifying training; help with providing information and orientation to pupils.

2. Allow citizens to support schools in the transmission of the Republic's values: the national education department's civic reserve.

This new arrangement (as outlined in the circular dated May 12th 2015 31) allows adults who desire to have the opportunity to dedicate their time and provide their experience to serve schools, particularly in the following fields of expertise:

· Education in citizen matters and secularism (“laïcité”),  

· Education in gender equality,

· Education in the media and information,

· The fight against racism, anti-semitism and all forms of discrimination,

· The connection between schools and the professional world.

For schools, this is an opportunity to mobilize and benefit from civil society's strengths beyond the various components of the educational community and actors who also act in of associations, civic service or in the form of ad hoc intervention. Teachers may therefore regularly call upon external speakers to illustrate their teaching within classes. The associations, and more generally, all people and legal entities wishing to promote the national education department's civic reserve can be associated as civic reserve's ambassadors. Several institutions are already involved in the national education department's civic reserve (National School of administration, Conferences of the university presidents, CDEFI, CEMEA, League of education, CNOUS, 'les Francas', French network of educational cities, Association of members of the Order of Academic Palms). Reservists are also called upon, if they wish, to intervene in extracurricular activities.

Editorial Note: This is a partial version of the commitment text. For the full commitment text please see France's national action plan: https://bit.ly/2MTYhsR.

Responsible Institutions: Ministry of National Education, Higher Education and Research; Ministry of Urban Affairs, Youth and Sport

Supporting Institution(s): N/A

Start Date:Not Specified

End Date:Not Specified

Commitment Aim

This commitment sought to allow citizens to contribute to youth education through two milestones: 1) create a volunteer civic service program for youth; and 2) involve citizens in teaching civic education courses in schools.

The civic service program was created in 2010, though at the time the Ministry of National Education was not one of the hosts for civil servants. Civic service can be performed either through a public agency at the local level, or with CSOs and NGOs pending an approval process. The government sees it as providing direct access to professional experiences, as well as a way of addressing the social exclusion of youth groups. In theory, the program offers youths aged 16 to 25 (and 30 for persons with disabilities) the opportunity to work for six to twelve months in one of nine priority areas defined by the government including education, health, culture and leisure, environment, international development and crisis emergency response.

In a speech given one month after the January 2015 Paris attacks, President Hollande established a connection between the massive and spontaneous march for peace and solidarity with the victims, citizens' desire to help and serve the common good of France, and the need for a civic youth service to reinforce national cohesion and shared common values.

Civic service was extended in this way to all citizens willing to share what the government identified as the values of the French Republic in education activities within national schools. This program is called the citizen reserve for education. Future participants can enrol through a digital platform.

While the commitment strives to engage young people in civic education and could help schools throughout the country, it does not create new opportunities for opening the decision-making processes to more citizens. While the engagement of youth in community service and encouraging citizens to teach civic education are well-intended initiatives, these efforts are not new. Without evidence on how the civic service program has worked so far, it is not clear if increasing the number of participants represents an ambitious step.

Status

Midterm: Substantial

This commitment was substantially implemented by the midterm. According to the Ministry of National Education, the objective to recruit 5,000 youths for the 2015-2016 school year was almost completed, with 4,657 individuals recruited. The second year of implementation aimed to recruit a further 10,000 youths for the 2016-2017 school year. The aim of the second milestone, to create the reserve, saw substantial implementation during the first year of the action plan. A circular dated 12 May 2015 outlined the arrangements for the reserve, and an 11 April 2016 decree established a High Commissioner for Civic Engagement. The High Commissioner would be placed under the Prime Minister's office and be in charge of the creation and promotion of the civic reserve. In the second year of implementation, the Equality and Citizenship Law of 27 January 2017 provided a legislative background for the reserve, going beyond the Ministry of National Education, and ensuring the reserve's continuity. For more information, please see the IRM midterm report.[Note148: Independent Reporting Mechanism, France Rapport D'ètape (OGP, 2017), https://www.opengovpartnership.org/sites/default/files/France_Progress-Report_2015-2017.pdf.]

End of Term: Substantial

This commitment remains substantially implemented at the time of the end of term. The government self-assessment provides no evidence that new steps were taken toward full completion of this commitment. The website dedicated to the civic service in education for youth was last updated in October 2016, providing the information listed in the midterm assessment.

The civic reserve has been institutionalised through the Law on Equality and Citizenship n° 2017-86 adopted 27 January 2017. The civic reserve for the national education is enacted through Article L.911-6-1 of the education code. According to an article published in Libération, in April 2016 there were about 5,000 volunteers in the civic reserve. When the article was published, volunteers began to get frustrated, as no meaningful action had occurred, despite being enrolled for months; this suggests the policy is mostly symbolic.[Note149: Marie Piquemal, “Réserve citoyenne : «J'en ai assez de cette mascarade, j'abandonne»” (Libération, 6 Apr. 2016), http://www.liberation.fr/france/2016/04/06/reserve-citoyenne-j-en-ai-assez-de-cette-mascarade-j-abandonne_1444274 (accessed 5 Oct. 2016).]

Did It Open Government?

Access to Information: Did not change

Civic Participation: Did not change

Public Accountability: Did not change

In the midterm IRM report, this commitment was assessed as not relevant to any OGP values since the activities did not create any new opportunities for citizens to engage in the decision-making process for civic education. Moreover, the IRM researcher did not find any information regarding any evaluation of the programs or on concrete, positive results of these activities. As such, this commitment, as implemented, did not open up government practice in terms of access to information, civic participation, or public accountability.

Carried Forward?

This commitment was not carried over to the next action plan.


France's Commitments

  1. Transparency of Public Services

    FR0030, 2018, E-Government

  2. Transparency of Public Procurement

    FR0031, 2018, E-Government

  3. Transparency of Development Aid

    FR0032, 2018, Aid

  4. Expand open data

    FR0033, 2018, E-Government

  5. Improved data policies and administration

    FR0034, 2018, Capacity Building

  6. Transparency of Public Algorithms

    FR0035, 2018, E-Government

  7. Open data at sub-national level

    FR0036, 2018, Capacity Building

  8. State AI lab

    FR0037, 2018, Capacity Building

  9. Administrative capacity-building

    FR0038, 2018, Capacity Building

  10. Public Service Incubators

    FR0039, 2018, Capacity Building

  11. Streamline data flows

    FR0040, 2018, E-Government

  12. Open Etat forum

    FR0041, 2018, E-Government

  13. Online procedures dashboard

    FR0042, 2018, E-Government

  14. GovTech summit

    FR0043, 2018, Capacity Building

  15. Imrove public consultation mechanisms

    FR0044, 2018, E-Government

  16. International transparency and citizen participation

    FR0045, 2018, Aid

  17. Public pariticipation in sustainable development

    FR0046, 2018, Capacity Building

  18. Open Science

    FR0047, 2018, E-Government

  19. Citizen involvement in Cour des Comptes

    FR0048, 2018, Capacity Building

  20. Private sector transparency

    FR0049, 2018, Asset Disclosure

  21. Access to information on public officials

    FR0050, 2018, Asset Disclosure

  22. Open Regional and Local Authorities' Data

    FR0001, 2015, Fiscal Transparency

  23. Publish municipal council decisions and reports online

    FR0002, 2015, E-Government

  24. Publish building permits in open data format

    FR0003, 2015, Open Data

  25. Starred commitment Increase Transparency in Public Procurement

    FR0004, 2015, Open Contracting and Procurement

  26. Improve Transparency in International Development Aid

    FR0005, 2015, Aid

  27. Open Access to Public Policy Evaluations

    FR0006, 2015, E-Government

  28. Involve Citizens in Cour des Comptes Work

    FR0007, 2015, Fiscal Transparency

  29. Access to Public Officials Transparency Obligations

    FR0008, 2015, E-Government

  30. Starred commitment Beneficial Ownership

    FR0009, 2015, Beneficial Ownership

  31. Transparency in Extractive Industries

    FR0010, 2015, Extractive Industries

  32. Transparency in International Trade Commercial Negotiations

    FR0011, 2015, Labor

  33. Fix My Neighborhood

    FR0012, 2015, E-Government

  34. Digital Fix-it

    FR0013, 2015, Open Data

  35. Co-produce Data Infrastructure with Civil Society

    FR0014, 2015, Open Data

  36. Starred commitment Open Legal Resources

    FR0015, 2015, Legislation & Regulation

  37. Reform Participatory Mechanisms

    FR0016, 2015, Public Participation

  38. Mediation and Justice

    FR0017, 2015, Judiciary

  39. Starred commitment Open and Circulate Data

    FR0018, 2015, Land & Spatial Planning

  40. Open Calculation Models and Simulators

    FR0019, 2015, Open Data

  41. Open Platform for Government Resources

    FR0020, 2015, E-Government

  42. Improve Public Services through E-Government and User Interaction

    FR0021, 2015, E-Government

  43. Empower Civil Society to Support Schools

    FR0022, 2015, E-Government

  44. Diversify Recruitment within Public Institutions

    FR0023, 2015, Capacity Building

  45. Culture Change

    FR0024, 2015, Capacity Building

  46. Spread Public Innovation

    FR0025, 2015, Capacity Building

  47. Starred commitment Protect Against Conflicts of Interest

    FR0026, 2015, Conflicts of Interest

  48. Civil Society & Transparency in COP21 Conference Planning

    FR0027, 2015, Environment and Climate

  49. Open data and Climate/Sustainable Development

    FR0028, 2015, Open Data

  50. Collaborate with Civil Society on Climate and Sustainable Development

    FR0029, 2015, Environment and Climate