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French unhappy with quality of education

Dan MacGuill · 2 Sep 2013, 18:00

Published: 02 Sep 2013 18:00 GMT+02:00

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As some 12.5 million school pupils prepare to return to school after the summer holidays, on Tuesday, a new survey has found that their adult compatriots are dissatisfied with the level of education they themselves received.

The CSA poll for RTL radio found that 58 percent of French people see the equality of the education they received in the country as unsatisfactory, with 42 percent believing the opposite.


Chief among the causes of this malaise is the standard of teaching, the survey discovered. Some 57 percent of respondents felt that teachers in France are “poorly trained.”

One-tenth thought their ‘profs’ were “vary-badly trained”, while just two percent judged them “very-well trained.”

“From the point of view of the French people, teachers today are not trained well to deal with events like conflicts between pupils, or even conflicts between pupils and teachers, over subjects such as religion,” Yves-Marie Cann, from CSA told RTL.

In separate poll on Monday, right-leaning daily Le Figaro found that a whopping 93 percent of its readers believed that “The quality of teaching is getting worse.”


This is hardly the first piece of news that will make an unhappy reading assignment for educators and policy-makers such as French Education Minister Vincent Peillon.

Earlier in August a report by French education inspectors found that teachers were nurturing and perpetuating sexism and gender inequality in the way they taught boys and girls.

Story continues below…

Three weeks ago, a French minister was forced to defend the quality of France’s third-level education system, after an annual report ranked just four French universities among the world’s top 100.

In recent days, however, British comedian Stephen Fry gave a boost to the image of France’s education system, declaring that French students outshone their British counterparts.

“French schoolchildren, if you see them, are so much more well-behaved and engaged in what they are doing and concentrating… I think generally speaking, demonstrably a better educated race,” he told Radio Times.

Dan MacGuill (dan.macguill@thelocal.com)

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