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article imageFrench President wants homework ban as part of education reforms

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By Andrew Moran     Oct 18, 2012 in Politics
Paris - If French President Francois Hollande has his way, students could soon be yelling in the streets, "Vive le Francois Hollande!" As part of education reforms, the president is considering a ban on homework.
Did The Onion report that France is considering a ban on bringing school work home? No, France 24 reported last week that President Francois Hollande actually wants to eradicate homework and also lower the number of students who are forced to repeat grades.
The reason why he wants to implement a homework ban is because he believes it is unfair for some children to get help with their homework from their parents, while others, who come from broken homes, do not. Essentially, Hollande’s argument is that homework favors the wealthy instead of the poor.
Furthermore, Hollande is also calling for more teachers, but he has not confirmed where the money will come from. The Associated Press is reporting that Education Minister Vincent Peillon is considering shortening summer vacation, but it’s believed to be a rather unpopular move in France.
Right now, French pupils spend four days a week in school from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (some stay later), but Hollande wants to increase it to four-and-a-half days – it would be up to local schools if they want to spread it out over a period of five or even six days.
Figures show that French students spend more hours in school each year than any other children in developed nations.
All of this is part of much-discussed education reforms that are intended for overworked French students and those in disadvantaged areas.
“Education is priority. An education programme is, by definition, a societal programme,” said Hollande during a speech at the Sorbonne University in Paris. “Work should be done at school, rather than at home.
Although the president’s proposals are yet to be put into place, these are many ideas being considered in a national debate to improve France’s education. Among Organisation for Economic Development and Co-operation (OECD) countries, France is ranked 21st in reading, 22nd in math and 27th in science.
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