President François Hollande promised homework will be abolished and he’ll reduce the number of students who must repeat school years. He has also pledged schools will be more welcoming for children with less stressful days and the number of teachers will increase.
Getting rid of homework is excellent news for children and parents, however, it’s a tougher sell on teachers and some parents. It’s comforting for them, plus there are certain tasks which are easier to do out of the classroom. The purpose is to provide children who do not have support at home a fair chance against other students. Not all children are able to complete their homework at home, or don’t have a home environment conducive to studying. The Fédération de Parents d’élèves, la FCPE, fully supports this measure.
Children go to school four days a week as a cost-saving measure introduced by President Sarkozy. Hollande plans on changing it back to 4.5 days per weeks. He believes that schools days are too dense (well, yeah). French children go to school 144 days, whereas the average in Europe is 180 days. I’m sure kids will miss having the full day off, but at least they’ll leave school before 5 or 6 pm.
Hollande promised to employ 60,000 teachers over five years and provide incentives for teachers willing to work in difficult areas. With the increase of teachers, he hopes to place an extra teacher in larger classes so students can work in small groups. He also will open more opportunities for children under 3 years old to begin school early. Under Sarkozy, enrollment of children under 3 years old dropped 10% to reduce costs… less students in school meant less teachers were needed.
Finally, Hollande called for school to be less stressful and competitive. Studies have shown repeating a grade is inefficient and costly for the state, as well as demotivating for the child. How will he reduce the number of children having to repeat a grade? Minister Vinent Peillon has the task of figuring out that mystery.
While all this sounds great, I’m wondering where all this money is coming from? I must have missed that article. What do you think of these changes?
France’s Hollande Promises Pupils ‘No More Homework’ at France24
Education : Hollande Rend sa Copie
Image Credit: Jean-Marc Liotier on Flickr