Photo: Mikhail Nilov

The figure is considerable: in two years, Paris has lost 11.000 schoolchildren, going from 159.110 children in September 2019 to 148.138 in 2021. Which represents an overall drop in enrollment of – 4,5%.

In the Marais district, where 4149 children are currently in school, the drop is proportionally even greater. With a decrease of 8,3%, the 4th arrondissement recorded the largest drop in the capital. The 3rd, suffers a decrease of 6%. Only the 8th, 9th, 10th and 19th arrondissements do worse with -14,4%, -7,8%, -6,7% and -7,3% respectively.

“The health crisis and the development of teleworking have led certain families to leave Paris for a house with a garden, knowing that their parents keep their jobs in the capital,” says Patrick Bloche, Anne Hidalgo’s deputy in charge of education, whose remarks are reported in Le Parisien.

Another aggravating factor: real estate prices and the increase in rents. Tired of living in cramped apartments when a baby or a second child arrives, some families “exile” to the suburbs where they find larger spaces for an equivalent rent.

Le Parisien was already alarmed in 2019 by the closure of 49 classes in nursery and primary schools in the capital, (including 2 in the Marais), in particular because of the drop in the birth rate and the high cost of housing.

Eternal optimist, Patrick Bloche believes that fewer schoolchildren per class would calm the atmosphere and devote more time to each person. Provided, however, that the number of teachers does not also decline.

Text: Katia Barillot

15.10.21

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