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Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Reform of the Lycée system in 2010

Dear Readers,

As you may already know, French President Nicolas Sarkozy is proposing a reform of the lycée system for September 2010. This reform will affect all classes of the lycée especially those wishing to do a BAC 'L'. The changes aren't going to be very radical and this reform is for the best. I've done my research and I'm here now to tell you about it!

Firstly, France's education system is a mess in the current state it's in. A report was written on the French education system during the drawing-board stages of the reform. The report explains that French primary school children attend school a mere 140 days a year, which articles in the press compare with 180 days in Finland or 200 in Italy. Yet  French primary school children actually spend more hours in school that any other country in the EU or the OECD, 913 hours a year compared with 634 in Germany. It's certainly an alarming fact  that, despite all those hours spent in the classroom and the 21% of the GNP thrown into the educational black hole, French schoolchildren's results are still not satisfactory. That's why the "Education Nationale"  is more than a little fretful as it awaits the publication of the latest PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) results, due out in December this year. France is not expected to rank among the highest of the 65 countries assessed. This is because statistics already show that nearly 15% of children are neither literate nor numerate when they start secondary school and 40% have an insufficient grasp of primary programme core subjects.  With this in mind, it's hardly surprising that  the situation  in secondary school is worrying too.  The report points out that with 150,000 young people leaving school every year with no qualifications whatsoever, we can expect an additional three million unqualified individuals on the job market in twenty years' time.  Added to a current annual shortfall of 100,000 qualified people, the country is in fact facing an educational time bomb with potentially huge social and economic repercussions. Sarkozy's announcement follows the recommendations of Richard Descoings: rehabilitate the L track (with an emphasis on "language" rather than "literature"), more guidance for students, more flexibility of choice, including midterm changes.

The only disruption caused by this reform will probably only be that we won't be able to sell our old schoolbooks come the end of the year and that the schoolbooks for 1ère and some Terminale subjects will be more expensive seeing as they'll have to be bought new. On the other hand, that may not be the case if Sarkozy is planning on just increasing the weekly hours of certain subjects. Students repeating the year could find it harder seeing as they won't be going over all of the same things that they did this year.

Article by The Editor
With thanks to "The Mammoth and Me" Blog


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