French and European flags to fly in classrooms of schools in France

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French and European flags to fly in classrooms of schools in France
Photo: AFP

The French parliament has voted in favour of a bill proposing that the flying of the French and European flags be made obligatory in all classrooms in France.


* For language learners: we've highlighted some useful vocabulary in this news story. You'll find the French translations at the bottom of the article.
Part of the new education reforms presented to parliament this week, the bill was added as an amendment by MP Eric Ciotti and would also make it obligatory for every school child to know the words to the national anthem (la Marseilleise). 
The European flag had not initially been included in the amendment proposed by Ciotti but it was added later, with the MP calling it “an important step forward”.
The move would make it mandatory for “each of the classrooms across establishments, public and private” all the way up from Reception Year to high school classes. 
“[The measure] will be applied in a very simple way [with] all costs covered by the ministry,” said France's Minister for Education Jean-Michel Blanquer. 
Despite already having been approved by parliament, the measure will only come into force once Blanquer's entire education bill has been voted through. 
However the measure has been criticised by left-wing politicians in France who said that they had not been given enough time to express their views on it. 
An MP from far-left party La France Insoumise Michel Larive said that it was having flags on the front of schools was a sufficient way of showing respect for the country "without drifting towards nationalism”.
“Schools are not [army] barracks,” he added. 
French vocab to learn
bill - un projet de loi
obligatory - obligatoire
national anthem - un hymne national
flag - un drapeau
classroom - une salle de classe
Reception Year - la moyenne section
high school - un lycée
to approve - approuver
left-wing - de gauche
We're aiming to help our readers improve their French by translating relevant vocabulary from our news stories of the day. Did you find articles like these useful? Do you have any suggestions? Let us know.


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