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Secondary education, exam results, etc.


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I don't often venture into this Forum as my experience of French education is strictly limited to the time I spent learning the language in Paris.  However, I chanced upon an article in a back edition of l'Express, a journal I think we'll all agree is pretty reliable.  Admitedly it was dated September 2001 so perhaps things have improved since then(!) but the picture it paints is far from rosy. Here are a few of the figures it cites:-

*20% of 6eme students can't read a simple texte or do basic arithmetic using a calculator

*only 62% of students pass their BAC

* Out of 2 million students at university, 40% will drop out before the end of the 2nd year, ie without even gaining a DEUG.

The author believes this is shameful given how much money the French government spends (spent?) on education.   She was also extremely critical of the inequality of the French system and how education is weighted towards the brighter students. "...Aux autres enfin - l'immense majorite des eleves - une scolarite au deroulement aleatoire, soumise a l'ecoute et au savoir-faire fluctuants du personnel enseignant qui, souvent, ne s'adresse vraiment qu'aux tetes de classe." 

Now where have I heard that before?  TeamedUp, do you moonlight?




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I doubt the figures have changed much in 4 years, they sound about right to me (well at least the 6eme evaluations ones)

The thing is that when I hear french people (mainly teachers) complaining about the fact that only 62% students pass their bac, I have an urge to ask them why any more should. What I mean by that is, if the desired 80% of a "classe d'âge" (i.e. all kids born in 1987) manages to pass the bac, then what does that say about the value of the bac?

The same thing with the 40% of students who drop out of university, since everybody who has a bac can go to uni, even those who got 10.1/20 (like my sister in law who failed her first university year 3 times in a row) Maybe some of them shouldn't have gone in the first place.

I'm sorry, I'm sounding a bit reactionary. Don't get me wrong. I agree that the system aims at the "têtes de classe" and the others, the "different ones" get left by the wayside. I know that the system is failing these kids. I have my 20% of 6emes in every class who can't understand a simple text and the system is such that it's almost impossible to help them. We have to put them into mixed ability classes where the more fragile children are swamped by the others, they have to follow the full programme in every subject. (remember that some subjects have an hourly programme -hist géo has a list telling you that you can spend between 2 and 3 hours on WW1, of course if you choose to spend 3 hours you have to diminish the number hours on the rise of fascism) Flexibility and working for/with individual pupils just doesn't seem to come into the picture.

But what I think is missing from the discussion is the idea that we are failing to help these pupils do the best they could. Maybe they aren't all capable of getting to the bac, but we should be helping them to succeed to the best of their ability (whatever that is)

Rant over Just to add one thing about the 6eme evaluations, Every 6eme  has to do them. All our chetchens, bosniacs.... who are here since last year took it too and are included in the results.

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As for Minstal I understand what she/he is saying as a teacher in the old fashioned sense as the wellbeing of the pupils at heart, unlike some who just take the money and the 12+ weeks holiday per year. The same now that are moaning that they don`t want to work until they are 65 like most working people do, and are again threatening the education of the children .
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[quote]As for Minstal I understand what she/he is saying as a teacher in the old fashioned sense as the wellbeing of the pupils at heart, unlike some who just take the money and the 12+ weeks holiday per yea...[/quote]

Blah, blah, blah...

My post was intended as a dig at those teachers who only consider their own well being who ,in my opinion, give the profession a bad name. I'll quite happily work till 65. I'll have no choice, as it'll be me who's paying the pension of you more senior folks!!

How many times do I have to tell you I've got 15 weeks of paid holiday, not a mere 12!!

8 more get ups till my next hols!!

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LOL Sorry, but I don't moonlight.

I have read this sort of thing in the past. But just 'being interested' in the whole thing ie in school, going to the meetings and talking to friends is enough to know what was in this article is in no way surprising.

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