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Brizard, Caroline

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Le Nouvel Observateur - France | 25/02/2013

France's school reform just diplomacy

France's government plans to extend the school week from four to four and a half days starting with the next school year. Now the Minister of Education Vincent Peillon has announced in an interview that he wants to shorten the summer holidays from eight to six weeks as of 2015. That is a diplomatic tactic, the left-liberal weekly magazine Nouvel Observateur contends: "Why has the minister dropped the bomb now? He risks provoking the ire of parents and teachers alike, the former because they fear changes to the summer programme and the latter because they don't want to give up their long summer holidays. But perhaps he's just trying to save what's left to save by bringing fresh impetus into the stagnating debate about school reform? ... Or he's trying to appease the local authorities that are upset up about the additional costs an extra half day per week will mean for them? Because by shortening the summer holidays by two weeks they can save money on holiday camps and sports schools, since these institutions would open later."

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