Villagers fund teacher salary

Villagers fund teacher salary to keep school

30 June 2011

THE 300 residents of a small village in the Hautes-Alpes, are clubbing together to hire and pay for a teacher for their maternelle (nursery school) to prevent its closure. It comes as the government plans to axe around 9,000 teaching posts from nursery and primary schools at the start of the next school year.

Puy-Saint-Vincent Mayor Marcel Chaud said: “It’s the only solution. Closing the school would put the survival of the village at risk. Young people won’t come to live here if there is no school for their children.” Under the government proposals, the seven pupils due to join the school in September should be schooled in another village 800m lower down from Puy-Saint-Vincent (which is at 1,800m).

Mr Chaud said: “It’s unthinkable. The roads are difficult to access, especially in the snow.” Teaching union SNUipp- FSU denounced the teacher cuts, saying France already spends 15% less on education than its OECD peers. It said just 3,000 newly-qualified primary school teachers would start this September compared to 7,000 last year and 10,000 in 2008.

Concerns have also been raised over a declining interest in teaching as a career. Students taking the secondary teacher’s exams, the Capes, were 12,490 this year compared to 22, 074 last year and 33,001 in 2007.

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