School, not national service, is way forward
Macron’s proposed ‘national service’ is unlikely to work in its current form. If it is to make a difference, it should be for a longer period and far greater resources would have to be allocated to it.
However, this is likely to come against opposition because of cost and the loss of freedom it entails. After all, if it was abolished not so long ago, what has changed that makes it such a good idea now?
Promoting greater civic awareness is laudable, but there is a better way to achieve it: by addressing the flaws in the school system, which is disrupted throughout May and June by too many public holidays and teacher absences (although teachers ought to be replaced).
Also, there must be a move away from the teaching of overly theoretical content towards greater emphasis on the practical. With far too much emphasis on learning by rote, things are quickly forgotten.
Learning terminology is favoured, but its practical meaning and application for everyday life is not taught. How does society really work? How can I acquire the skills necessary to lead a fulfilling, useful life? Just to give one example, why are students not taught how to invest their money?
Community work and working for charities could be integrated with the school curriculum to give students practical experience which would better allow them to discover their aptitudes and help them decide what work they want to do later.
James Chater, Avallon
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