? Essay, Research Paper
How meritorious is the French education system?
In my opinion, the French education system is faulty and undeserving. Meisler portrays for us in animated detail, the torture that French pupils go through in their schooldays. It is also relatively easy for me to understand this scenario because in my country, India, the scene is strikingly similar. It is also the reason that I am here right now in the United States getting the benefits of the best undergraduate system in the world to take home with me the accrual of a “liberal” education.
I find the lack of French students in an American institution surprising. Surely French parents will think and re-think before making a choice between their child s future and the haughtiness of their country s culture. Do they really want risk their children to go through a system where the chance of getting the baccalaureate degree is only one in three? What is the point of “attempting” to get an education? The country s literacy rate reads ninety-nine percent yet Meisler indicates that two-thirds of France is without a reputed degree. These statistics are unheard of in the rest of the world. Students who do manage to get this degree get celebrity treatment and many go on to become Nobel laureates. Nevertheless, what of those who not make it? They live an obscure life, affected by their failure until their dying day. This also happens to be the reason for France s contemptuous behavior towards tourists. One often comes across a French waiter or low-level bureaucrat or store clerk behaving defensively as they had done with their teachers, desperately trying to evade disapproval. Fear being their motivation rather than the pursuit of success.
French education seemingly preaches that France is the world and that there is nothing beyond. Meisler has pointed out a symbolic example when he says that, in English, people usually try to judge the level of comprehension of the person with whom they are conversing. They then try to adapt to the same wavelength so that the conversation carries on with least difficulty. However, to the French, this is an alien concept. If you cannot speak the perfect grammar that they as children have been taught in medieval fashion, you become an outcast.
I think the French have to modify their philosophy and look beyond defining “education” as “academics”. There is much more to a complete education than precision of mind, command of language and a huge store of memory. They have to realize that Nobel laureates do not mean much until they are representatives of their entire country. Although France may have had several more Nobel laureates than the United States, it has achieved this at a price. The price of disregarding their “lesser” citizens. The United States on the other hand has gone the Darwinian way the process of natural selection and has let the people discover themselves and bring the best out in them. They have not had them molded to become superior beings which in my vocabulary reads as “robots” which in turn is defined in the Webster dictionary as “an efficient insensitive person who functions automatically.” The French education system is in desperate need of a complete overhaul. Otherwise, their nation is going to lose all of the little importance that they have in the world today because of their immodesty and arrogance. France is and will be nothing more than an angry yapping poodle in the midst of uninterested, lazing bulldogs.