Schools Of Contemporary Interest

By Malika Cornel, who recently graduated from the Institute of Accountancy, Arusha. She lives in Arusha, Tanzania. Please read her article and leave your thoughts and comments below.

A school according to Merriam-Webster is an organization that provides instruction and it is a source of knowledge. Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary put forward three definitions of prison;

·         A building where criminals are forced to live as a punishment.

·         The system of keeping people in prisons.

·         A situation or relationship from which it is difficult to escape.

I do not judge the perception of people based on their background or the places that they are from, but I do believe these factors mold a person’s ideas and sometimes a way of thinking. Victor Hugo is considered by his fellow Frenchmen and other nations as a writer of all times. I respect that.

The French constitution states that it is ‘the duty of the state to provide free, compulsory, secular education at all levels’. The French school system was founded on general principles that were inspired by the 1789 revolution, and were added to and have taken shape with a set of legislative texts from the 19th century to the present day. Victor Hugo (1802-1885).

To agree or disagree with this topic depends on where you are from and also your area’s education system. I’m from a third world country and I do not agree with this statement, stating “He who opens school door, closes a prison.” I will also show what my education system (mostly of the third world countries) do not have whereas notable first world countries such as France has. I also put forward the nature and features of most of schools in France have while the third world countries’ schools do not have or have at a lower extent.

Back to the history or French education system, which is among the best or of a high standard worldwide. It means the best from primary school to higher education. According to Expatica’s article on ‘A guide to French education,’ French education is characterized with strict discipline, high academic standards, national set curriculum and traditional methods of learning.

For example having one teacher per subject and a class size of 30 students is considered as large unlike the third world counties where it is common for a teacher to casually teach more than one subject especially in lower levels such as primary schools. Also a class can have more than 60 students.

In France school holidays differ based on zones or a student’s area. In many of the third world counties there is no differences on holidays among zones. Hence the population is more likely to be unevenly distributed, which in return puts pressure on land and natural resources.

In France the school lunch usually consists of a starter, main meal, dessert and cheese, costs for this vary. I do not mean that the same menu has to be in the third world countries. My point is presence of food especially lunches help to keep the students in schools. Hence the students fail to learn as much as they are supposed to. There is also high rate of absenteeism among the students especially girls.

In France students go home when parents give a permission otherwise they will remain for study lessons. Most of the schools offer daycare services. In most of the third world countries’ school; after classes the student safety or responsibility transferred to parents or guardians. It is very common to witness a student of primary school to be in his or parent area of business till evening in school uniforms and leave when the parent close the business.

The budget for Domestic education spending 2010 was Euro 1,348 billion such as 7% of the GDP. Due to poverty most of the governments in the third world countries do not put high amount or budget on education. Furthermore most of the third world counties are experiencing debt overloads from other powerful nations.

Due to the fact that his parents travelled frequently Victor Hugo learned a lot from those travels. In facts even if we set aside formal education, other form of educations like the one experienced by Victor Hugo is not likely in third world counties. Most of the families settle at one place. They move as families during difficulties such as funerals. The hardship in the economic conditions do not allow them to have or practice holidays. Sometimes even a worker may plead with an employer on not to have a holiday, so as to be able to provide for their families. Holidays to them are considered by many as luxuries.

I think the statement would have been more applicable and meaningful to me if it stated, “He who opens a relevant school door or of contemporary interest, closes a prison.”

42 comments on “Schools Of Contemporary Interest

  1. Tatiana Praygod on

    Wow. What a piece of work. I’m 100% sure many people will agree with Hugo’s statement without clearly understand it’s application. I like your perspective.

  2. Watson on

    Clearly this is the bare truth of third world countries even more worse in other umentioning places
    Good work
    I love this

  3. Nevena on

    This is so true. I’m comming from 3. world country, and learning methods are from 50 years ago (communism). We learn unnecessary things, most of them by heart, and we don’t know how to use that knowledge. As we graduated, we have no practices, hence it’s hard to find a job, cuz theory and practice are very different.

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