Scenes from a Manif

Today marked a strike and demonstrations in many French cities by the equivalent of high school advanced-placement professors. The “prepa” protestors (short for classes preparatoires) are angry that ┬áVincent Peillon, the minister of national education, wants to add hours to the already heavy workload of these profs–or pay them less. It was moving to see so many students march alongside their professors. As my friend wrote in an editorial in the newspaper L’Humanite, France’s grande ecoles–for which prepa classes gear students–are the envy of the world. Must that suffer along with so many other aspects of French excellence? Peillon is claiming the money is needed for teachers in other sectors of education; a plot to pit confreres against each other, my friend says. The teachers started striking last Monday and promise to continue next week.

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