16 December 2008

Student strikes in France

Amanda surely knows more about this than I (feel free to correct me if I get any of this wrong Amanda), but currently high schoolers (lycees) in Western France are protesting in the streets and are on strike from school. The strike is to protest new measures by the education minister, Darcos, that initiated stricter qualifications for new teachers. The new qualifications would require a master's degree and I think there are other qualifications that were put into effect as well. I think the protests have been going on for a few weeks. The students organised themselves independently of the various student unions throughout the country and the student unions only later signed on with the students.

The protest that I saw was just a group of 100-200 students walking through the main street to the high school; they shouted their protests and carried banners as they went. I don't know enough about the reasons for their protests to say if I agree or not but I do think it's interesting that they are politically active at an age when my biggest worry was how to balance homework with video games (video games usually won out until Amanda came along, then Amanda won over homework. ahh high school). I also find it surprising that this isn't getting more press. I haven't seen it in any English language papers. This may be because of the Greek protests going on or because the protests seem to be limited to the West-Southwest of France.

That's about all I know about the subject; like I said this is only my reflections from a few articles and a converstation with Amanda. The photo is taken of the middle of the group, I wasn't quick enough with my camera to get the whole group of them. It did look a little more impressive in person. On another note, I'm wondering what mom and dad would do if I had told them I was on strike and not going to school. I can imagine it would provoke an interesting conversation (or simply laughter from their part).

Photos from Carcassonne are available on Picasaweb (although some photos are of Sarlat).



  1. Surely Dad would have found a long enough list of hog house chores to bring your strike to a speedy resolution.

  2. Is that all they do in France is strike?