Education in France is known to be one of the most decentralized in Europe. Unlike other European countries, where schooling is almost exclusively a function of the state, in France school teaching is largely left to local authorities. Parents still retain the ultimate responsibility for educating their children, though they have more choice when it comes to selecting their local school. Private schools in France tend to be quite selective about the students they accept, often rejecting potential students on the basis of geography or social background. The decision to send a child to private school in France is therefore up to the parents. Private school tuition is by no means inexpensive, however, and families with working parents may find it difficult to afford this type of education for their children.
The French education system includes three stages: elementary, middle, and high school. Most French high schools, including some private ones, are very centralized administrative units and thus have highly decentralized administration. In order to gain admittance to a high school in France, you need to have a high school diploma, which can often be achieved through taking college entrance exams. The high school examination process can be lengthy, particularly in recent times, and failure to pass the exam can result in you dropping out of the school. After you have dropped out, you will need to take an academic examination to get your high school diploma.
The primary education system in France is a structured one, with many classes covering a wide variety of subjects taught throughout the day. Classes usually start at the beginning of kindergarten and continue through the end of secondary school, although some high schools also offer summer sessions. All schooling is conducted in the same way in all the French schools, and students are encouraged to learn as much as possible.
The four levels of primary education are G, A, B, C, and D. Students who do not pass their grade in G or D are required to take a further examination, known as le pratique, to see if they have learned enough to move on to the next level. This examination is sometimes given once a year, on Fridays or major holidays, and marks your intellectual progress. At the end of primary school, a student is expected to either stand a test of comprehension, write a test of the skills needed for college, or both. If a child fails the first two tests, he or she may be required to take another examination that may increase his or her score, or be entered into a drawing for a prize.
Because there is no national curriculum, children are schooled according to their ability, not their birth date. Some children are schooled from the time they are born, while others are schooled when they are about two years old, or when they begin to feel confident about their learning abilities. French schools often have a high drop-out rate because many of the children do not have the support they need to keep going during tough times. Of those that continue through secondary school, most go on to become doctors or become members of various political organizations.
The primary education program typically starts with nursery schools, known as les pyves, where most of the basic education is taught. These schools usually last from two to three years. Learning comes from books, teachers, and lectures. The school will also teach music, art, geography, and math.
The secondary education in France follows a more traditional format. A two-year college or university system becomes the primary route for secondary school students. The university system includes the universities of Bordeaux, roussillon, France, and some locales, where students are able to complete their degrees.
The university system in France has traditionally been dominated by men. In recent years, more franches are enrolling at higher level schools. This is due to the high cost of living in France, which forces many to live off low paid jobs. As a result, there are more men than women in the university system, making it one of the most equal sexes in the world. There are also more men than women in the secondary school system of France.