Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Rwandan singer amongst terror plot suspects

Read more

DEBATE

What's Putin's Plan? Kiev Accuses Russia of Terrorism

Read more

FOCUS

Campaigning against Bouteflika's re-election... in France

Read more

WEB NEWS

Chile: Online mobilization to help Valparaiso fire victims

Read more

ENCORE!

Art, sex, money, memory and manga

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Spat over Iran's UN ambassador hampers thawing relations with US

Read more

FOCUS

China trade deal: Is Taiwan's identity under threat?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Call it a caretaker government'

Read more

DEBATE

Nigeria's Battles

Read more

  • Frantic search for survivors of sunken South Korea ferry

    Read more

  • Crunch talks on Ukraine in Geneva

    Read more

  • Algeria heads to the polls: ‘This election has nothing to do with us’

    Read more

  • Man executed in Texas for 2002 triple murder

    Read more

  • Scandal-hit French doctor Jacques Servier dies at 92

    Read more

  • Belgian head of wildlife reserve shot in DR Congo

    Read more

  • Stagehand of God? Maradona's legendary goal inspires a play

    Read more

  • US rolls out red carpet for French critic of capitalism

    Read more

  • N. Korea not amused by London hair salon's Kim Jong-un ad

    Read more

  • Real Madrid beat old foes Barcelona to lift Copa del Rey

    Read more

  • France's new PM targets welfare in drive to cut spending

    Read more

  • Campaigning against Bouteflika's re-election... in France

    Read more

  • Brazil club Mineiro cancel Anelka signing after no-show

    Read more

  • Syria 'torture' photos silence UN Security Council members

    Read more

  • Paris laboratory loses deadly SARS virus samples

    Read more

  • More than 100 schoolgirls kidnapped in northeast Nigeria

    Read more

  • New York police disband unit targeting Muslims

    Read more

  • 'Miracle girl' healthy after seven-organ transplant in Paris

    Read more

  • Paris police memo calling for Roma eviction ‘rectified’

    Read more

  • Burgundy digs into France's bureaucratic 'mille-feuille'

    Read more

  • French court drops ‘hate speech’ case against Bob Dylan

    Read more

  • Algeria rights crackdown slammed ahead of election

    Read more

  • Iraq closes notorious Abu Ghraib jail over security fears

    Read more

  • In ‘Tom at the Farm’, Xavier Dolan blends Hitchcock and homoeroticism

    Read more

France

School year begins in France with string of reforms

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-09-04

Some 12 million pupils headed back to school Tuesday under the new government's educational reforms, which created thousands of new positions for teachers, a focus on primary schools and a new "secular code of conduct".

Education in France has always been a key political issue. It played a major role during the country’s 2012 presidential debates, with President François Hollande vowing to make young people, and in particular schools, a focal point of his mandate.

'Rebuilding' the education system

As some 12 million children prepared to head back to school this week, Education Minister Vincent Peillon said on Monday that the upcoming year would be one for “rebuilding” after what he called “years of cruel attacks against the education system” by the previous right-wing government.

During his time in office, former president Nicolas Sarkozy slashed some 80,000 teaching jobs in an effort to reduce spending. In contrast, Hollande has vowed to create 60,000 jobs in education over the next five years.

In a first step toward making good on this promise, nearly 8,200 teaching positions were opened up in both public and partially state-funded schools for the 2013-2014 academic year. A huge emphasis has also been placed on pre-primary and primary education, which has grown by a total of 3,350 teachers.

New schedule

Another change to come this year is a return to France’s traditional 4.5-day school week in primary institutions.

Under Sarkozy, the school week was reduced to only four days, which meant longer hours in class for primary students. Peillon plans to revert to the old system, arguing that by reducing the length of school-days, children will be able to pursue extra-curricular activities during the week.

While schools in the capital already have the new schedule in place, the government has given the rest of the country until September 2014 to introduce it. Some schools, however, are more reluctant than others, with critics complaining that the longer school week is expensive and complicated to organise.

A 'secular code of conduct'

A “secular code of conduct” will also be posted in all public schools before the end of September, reminding students of the “principles” that form the foundation of a secular educational system.

“It will state that everyone has freedom of opinion, but that nobody can use personal beliefs to oppose a class or miss a lesson,” Peillon explained.

The charter is a prelude to a new class on “secular morality”, which Peillon wants to introduce later in the year.

 

Date created : 2013-09-03

  • FRANCE

    France to launch school to teach entrepreneurial skills

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Paris teachers rebel against Socialists’ school reform

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    French minister in unholy row over morality classes

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)