In the name of egalite, French President Francois Hollande wants to ban homework. “He doesn’t think it is fair that some kids get help from their parents at home while children who come from disadvantaged families don’t,” writes Valerie Strauss in the Washington Post.
Hollande also proposes hiring more teachers and adding a half day of school on Wednesday, while shortening the eight-hour school day — which includes two hours for lunch — on the other four days of the week.
Currently, French children spend Wednesdays in state-run “leisure centers,” if there’s no parent or babysitter at home, AP reports. At some schools, the “afterschool program amounts to sitting silently at a desk for two hours or near-chaos in the play areas”
French elementary school students spend 847 hours per year in school compared to an average of 774 for other developed nations, but “France ranks below most of its European neighbors and the United States in results on international tests.”