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Teacher starts anti-'Perles du Bac' campaign

One teacher thinks the 'Perles du Bac' portray high school children in a negative light

6 July 2017
By Carmen Cracknell

It is that time of the year again - the Baccalauréat results are out. That means it is also the time of year for collecting the ‘Perles du Bac’, something that makes the process of marking papers a little less boring. 

The 'Perles du Bac' is an annual tradition in France. Every year after the Bac papers are marked, teachers and examiners release of some of the funniest answers they have seen that year.

Classics from this year include the following answer in an English exam: "At the beginning of humanity people would take pictures to have souvenirs", and this History paper answer: ”The USSR is the Union of the Swiss and Swedish Republics”.

But one teacher has taken a stand against the Perles. Françoise Cahen, a literature teacher in Alfortville, has started a campaign on a collective platform that encourages exam markers not to mock some of the worst answers, but to celebrate some of the best.

She says that contrary to popular belief, “high school students today do not have the IQ of an oyster, and we will prove it by showing there are some bright minds taking the Bac in 2017”.

One of them, a young man dressed in ‘street’ attire, shocked his oral examiner by quoting Camus in reference to The Myth of Sisyphus – “What we call a good reason for living is also a good reason to die”.

78.6% of students passed the Bac this year, slightly less than last year, according to the Ministry of Education.

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