French Education System

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In France, education has a clear goal: the system must always produce a group of well-educated individuals with a common culture, language and abilities that can then serve the State. The French educational system has a very large emphasis on content, culturally specific knowledge, scientific and mathematic knowledge. The system is designed to serve the needs of the state; the individuality and originality are not considered worth while values

The French Republic has 60 million inhabitants, living in the 22 regions of metropolitan France and four overseas departments (1.7 million). Despite the fact that the population is growing slightly (up 0.4% a year), the number and proportion of young people under 25 are, however, falling: there are now fewer than 19 million of them in metropolitan France, i.e. 32% of the total population, compared with 40% around 1970 and 35% at the time of the 1990 census. France is seeing a slow aging of the population — less marked however than in other neighbouring countries (Germany and Italy), especially as the annual number of births is currently increasing slightly. 15 million pupils and students, i.e. a quarter of the population, are in the education system. Just over 2 million are in higher education. In 1999, France's GDP was close to FF 9,000 billion (EUR 1,330 billion), i.e. FF 150,000 (EUR 22,000) per inhabitant. Of this total, just over FF 600 billion (EUR 95 billion) were devoted to initial or continuing education: 7.2% of GDP. As far as school education spending is concerned, France is in a middle position, behind the Nordic countries (Sweden and Denmark), but fairly significantly ahead of Italy and Japan. France has a workforce today of 26 million, of whom fewer than 2 million are unemployed: the unemployment rate recently fell to below 9%. 6% of the labor force (about 1.5 million jobs, including 1 million civil servants and local government officers) are undergoing training. Educational Structure...
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