This is not the post to have a rant over the French education system, it would take a month of sundays to completely vent my spleen.
I hope that in the future the French attitude to education changes. Currently, the education system is still aimed at raising children to be part of the French state, to grow up and have a career as part of the french establishment. I fear, however, that France being self contained and self sufficient will no longer be achievable. Being able to "think outside the box" is not something you can teach to a nation entrenched in this current attitude but is something that they (our kids...our future) will need to have. It won't happen in my lifetime, I hope my kids kids see a difference.
Education isn't always being stuck behind a desk. There is so much more to learn, but unless the parents take more responsibility it isn't going to happen. Having said that, where we live, since we have been here we have seen a significant shift towards kids learning English as an important language. This is all done privately though, as the state still ranks English as a 3rd language, behind Spanish ( and in some regards 4th..behind Occitan). The younger parents see learning English as a way forward for their children, and actively see that they should leave to study abroad. As an example, we have a friend who's eldest is off to Dublin for 6 months to help his studies in IT. (this is part of a 2 year "pre" graduate course, he then has 3 years "proper" graduate degree and hopes to continue gaining more educational experience beyond that. For him, he won't be out in "the real world" until his late 20's! for his doctors/dentists friends etc they won't be released into proper jobs until their ealy 30's)
This is not for all though, the majority around here don't see themselves moving more than 20km away from their parents, and retiring at 55 with a big fat pension. As far as they are concerned, the education and establishment is working fine. They strongly believe that the state will provide. (not "hope" but "will" provide...it's their right after all)
I'm teaching my kids (teaching = trying to educate them) that you can do anything once you set your mind to it. You don't have to be pigeon-holed, and there is is absolutely no phrase for "non". Most of this they are achieving without me being present. No2 son (16) is currently rebuilding our crash damaged car, No3 son (13) is rebuilding a melted PC. (No1 son is a bit innefective at the moment as he is in love...***!) , but they know that we don't have to get a man in to do all this stuff...think a bit outside the box and everything and anything is possible.
you can call me betty....I completley agree. Pigeon holes.... I tried to get a job with FT, they wanted someone with 3yrs experience in a particular discipline. I've got 15yrs plus in that particular area, 30yrs IT all told. "But monsieur...you don't have the 3yrs experience, you've got 15, we can't possibly interview you..."
I'm not a geek, I am a technically aware early adopter