Less than a Lycée
Looking at my blog statistics earlier this week I was quite delighted that my followers had just passed the 700 mark. I mentioned this in passing at the supper table. My daughter’s reaction was less than enthusiastic. She agreed that this was more than the number of friends that she has on facebook but didn’t consider it to be many. Her final words were
‘It’s less than a Lycée, not many at all really’
On Wednesday evening we attended an evening at her college. Four local further education establishments, including 2 Lycées, were presenting the courses available. All the parents of students who will be leaving college this summer were invited. For those of you who don’t know, children in France go to ‘college’ from eleven years old until fifteen. They then go to a Lycée or a technical college equivalent for up to three years depending on the course they are doing.
The options presented to us were many and varied. You could learn to be a panel beater or a chef. Learn how to maintain roads or take a course in public health. Further education isn’t all academic here. The local agricultural Lycée was represented. At this establishment you can spend your informative years learning durable development, estate management or how to drive tractors and wield chainsaws.
Further education is not an option. If you are keen to join the world of work you must do it through a training course. An employer can sponsor and train you ‘on the job’. The pay is considerably less than the minimum wage. Not all your time will be spent at your place of work. You must continue your education for two years and gain a certificate of professional aptitude (CAP). You will still spend a lot of time in a Lycée or the technical college equivalent.
For those who wish to take the academic route there are an array of options for the Baccalaureate. You
can chose to take a course more directed towards the sciences and mathematics for example. Jinx is leaning towards a ‘Bac L‘ the ‘L’ being for literature. Teachers do seem to try to persuade children to decide quite early on in life what they want to do for the rest of it. It is quite difficult to change your route here in France. If you don’t take the right ‘Bac’ for your chosen career path then it can be very difficult to pursue it.
One of the Lycées offered an option that sounded interesting called a ‘Euro’ option. The students can take a course in History and Geography in English. Next year this course will also include mathematics. A Certificate of Cambridge award will be added to their ‘Bac’. With the short-sightedness of youth my daughter is not tempted. It is after all another hour and a half per week in a subject that she already finds tedious. She is not tempted either by the technical colleges or training centres. She doesn’t want to go anywhere that she considers to be ‘less than a Lycée’.
If you want to find out more about the options for further education in France the official website lays out all the options very clearly.