4 years ago
It’s official: France has just become the country with the lowest compulsory age for starting school in the EU. Starting September 2019, children in France and France’s overseas territories will start school at the age of 3 instead of 6. By 2019, 800+ new job positions in education will be created under new reforms announced by President Emmanuel Macron.
This is nothing shocking for France, since these changes will affect a small number of children residing mainly in French overseas territories. Most parents in France already choose to enroll their kids in a nursery school at 3. According to the government statistics, only 2,4% of children are not enrolled at that age.
Stolen Childhood: Why Should French Kids Start School So Early?
President Macron believes the change can reduce inequality in education since parents in French overseas territories and low-income families rarely send their children to preschool. Unlike Paris, where 93% of three-year-olds are enrolled, the figure is less promising in most overseas territories. Mr. Macron believes this change is "a founding moment in the French education system".
According to USA Today, 97.6% of French students are already enrolled at 3. However, it is reported that as of 2016, between 20,000 - 30,000 kids started school much later. In French overseas territories, only 70% of 3-year-olds actually attended school.
President Macron believes the gap of almost 30% is the "unacceptable differential," which has to be eliminated. In his Twitter account, @EmmanuelMacron posted a list of benefits children can get from more time at school, such as playing, learning to speak, painting and drawing.
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