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France suspends teacher for faking Isis attack

A nursery school teacher has been suspended after he invented a story about being stabbed by an Isis supporter on Monday. There has been speculation the man may have been trying to get out of a school inspection.

France suspends teacher for faking Isis attack
Forensic teams in Aubervilliers on Monday. Photo: AFP
A 45-year-old French teacher made headlines the world over on Monday after telling police he had been stabbed by a man shouting about terror group Isis while preparing for lessons at a nursery school north of Paris. 
 
The man was rushed to hospital for treatment to his wounds, the school was closed for the day, and the government announced it would step up security at France's schools. 
 
Late in the afternoon, however, the teacher admitted that he had made the whole thing up. The education ministry reacted on Tuesday by suspending him from his duties, saying that he will not return. 
 
The prosecutor's office told AFP that “a psychiatric evaluation will be made as soon as possible”, confirming that the teacher had stabbed himself with a box cutter.
 
But the story is far from over, with France still baffled as to why someone would invent a terror attack, particularly so soon after 130 people were killed in the Paris attacks last month. 
 
According to France Info, the man may have been trying to get out of an upcoming inspection.
 
Indeed, the man was known to call in sick for inspections in the past, Le Monde newspaper noted
 
French teacher admits inventing 'Isis attack'
 
In any case, the teacher's actions certainly haven't come across as well-calculated. 
 
Le Monde pointed out that he was at the school unusually early, telling authorities he was stabbed at around 7am, long before most teachers and pupils would arrive. 
 
He also hadn't appeared to take CCTV footage into account, with counter-terror police quickly realizing that no apparent intruder had been on the scene. 
 
The teacher also reported that his “attacker” had yelled “This is for Daesh” (another word for Isis), a strange choice of words considering that the group has said in the past it would cut the tongues off anyone using it
 
France forced to step up security at schools
 
With France still in a national state of emergency after November's terror attacks, Monday's story hit a raw nerve across the country. 
 
French authorities were particularly concerned because earlier this month the Islamic State's French-language magazine Dar-al-Islam called in its November edition for its followers to kill teachers in the French education system, describing them as “enemies of Allah”.
 
“This education, in the case of France in particular, is a means of propaganda used to impose the corrupt way of thought established by the Judeo-masonry,” it said.
 
“Muslims must know the French education system is built against religion and Islam as the only religion of truth cannot cohabit with this fanatic secularism.”
 
While the French were no doubt reassured to learn the story was faked in the end, terror still won, noted Le Monde. 
 
“If terrorism is partly based on its psychological impact, then a faked attack is surely the ultimate form it can take,” the paper noted. 
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SCHOOLS

‘Section internationales’: How do France’s bilingual secondary schools work?

For foreign parents in France looking at secondary school options for their children one option to consider is the bilingual 'international sections' in certain state schools. But how do they work?

'Section internationales': How do France's bilingual secondary schools work?

What is an ‘international section’

Essentially international sections in French secondary schools allow students to learn a modern foreign language, such as English or German in much more depth than a standard state secondary. These sections also facilitate the integration of foreign students into the French school system.

There are about 200 ‘International’ establishments (primary schools, colleges and high schools) around France offering international sections in 16 languages.

Most are state run, so for many foreign families they are a much cheaper alternative to private schools, though it should be noted that some of the international sections are fee-paying.

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Even state establishments can charge for enrolment into their international sections. Fees are usually in the region of €1,000 to €2,000 per year (although that’s still cheap compared to somewhere like the American school of Paris which charges between €20,000 and €35,000 a year)

American and British sections are particularly popular – and, as a result are usually the most expensive, while less-popular German sections are less costly. 

Why do they exist?

These sections are ideal for the children of immigrant families, as well as those where one parent is of foreign origin. Syllabuses are set up and developed by French educational authorities and those of the partner country.

In addition to lessons dedicated to modern languages, students benefit from lessons in another subject given in a foreign language. The international sections promote the discovery of the culture and civilisation of the countries associated with the section.

Top tips for raising a bilingual child in France

What languages are available?

According to the government website, 19 languages are available. But that’s not strictly accurate as it then lists American, British and Australian as separate ‘languages’, along with Portuguese and Brazilian. It’s more accurate to say these establishments offer education in 16 languages.

It’s more accurate to say that there are 19 “sections”, dedicated to learning with a linguistic and cultural education slant in favour of the following nations/languages:

American, Arabic, Australian, Brazilian, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, English, Franco-Moroccan, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, Russian.

In total, there are two Australian schools, 20 American ones, over 50 British schools – most in Paris and the Ile-de-France (Versailles is very popular)

So, what’s studied – and what qualifications do you get?

As well as usual collège-level classes in core subjects, such as maths, history and the sciences, students have four hours of classes in the language, including literary studies, of their choice.

From troisième (age 14), an additional two hours of classes per week cover that country’s history and geography and moral and civic education – the latter is replaced by maths for those studying in Chinese sections.

They can obtain the diplôme national du brevet with the mention “série collège, option internationale”. The dedicated brevet includes two specific tests: history-geography and foreign language.

At lycée, students study four hours of foreign literature per week, as well as two hours of history-geography in the language of the section (maths for the Chinese section) as well as two hours of French as they study towards an OIB (option internationale du bac), often at the same time as a standard French bac.

How to enrol

The first step is to contact the collège you wish your child to attend. This should take place no later than January before the September rentree you want your child to go to the collège.

If you live in France, and your child is attending an école primaire or élémentaire, you should do this in the January of the year they would move up to collège.

Be aware, that some schools require potential students to pass a language test – written and oral – before they can enter an international section. A child wishing to enter sixth grade must be able to read books of the level of Harry Potter in English, to enter the international school of Sèvres’ British section, while another has said that only 20 percent of candidates achieve the grade that would allow them entry into an international section.

Find a school

You will find sections internationales de collège at educational academies across the country. For a full list, with contact details, click here.

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