ReportCampaign Fragments | Close to the European Parliament and the European Court of Human Rights, a trilingual establishment welcomes a thousand children, from kindergarten to secondary school. A course that is primarily intended for the children of European staff, who want to open up more.
Don’t tell them that the European Union (EU) is a household name for many “Golf”, which some French don’t really understand the point of, much less how it works. At the European School of Strasbourg, an institution created in 2008 for the European and international staff of the city, secondary school students know – something rare – the difference between ” the board “ and ” the Commision “† They also know – something even rarer – that the Council of Europe is not an EU institution.
These students are every history teacher’s dream. The majority of those we met are considering studying political science after their baccalaureate degree. Some will try to enter the Institutes of Political Studies and Sciences Po Paris, but most want to settle in the Netherlands, Spain or Italy. “It’s practical, with the European Baccalaureate you don’t have to ask for a diploma equivalent”Clara explains Monday 4 April in terminal in the establishment.
Clara, Raphaël, Anselme, Lise, Ianut, Carla and their classmates will not get the same baccalaureate as the other students in France. Their diploma is European and culminates in twelve years of European course taught in three languages of your choice from pre-kindergarten (French, English or German). “The programs decided in Brussels are the result of a consensus between the education ministers of the twenty-seven”, explains Olivier Tedde, the director of this establishment of 1,000 students. Greater diversity in the pedagogical approach and a history program less focused on France are some of the differences from the program prescribed by the Ministry of National Education. The latter nevertheless reimburses the teachers of this public school, who are recruited on profile.
The other difference, of course, lies in the presence of European actions for high school students called “European hours” in primary school: activities to raise awareness of European institutions and values, which pupils of all ages engage in every week.
For them, belonging to Europe is anything but abstract. Firstly, because they develop in the heart of the European quarter of Strasbourg – with an unobstructed view, from the playground, of the European Parliament and the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), located at the end of the street. “We regularly organize visits and exchanges with political personnel in the heart of the institutions”, says Alain Fassiaux, history-geography teacher who coordinates European actions for secondary school students. “I don’t know if we are in the heart of a happy Europe, but at least in the heart of a Europe that existsthe teacher notes. In addition to the physical presence of institutions, many children have a parent who works there, which makes their existence very concrete for them. †
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