French Schools Give Up Their Free Wednesdays

French Schools Give Up Their Free Wednesdays

This article in The Economist reports on a controversial change being implemented by French education officials: students will now have to go to school every Wednesday. Since 1882, French students have had a four-day week, originally to allow for religious education outside school. Initially the day off was Thursday, with longer hours on the other four days, but in 1972 the no-school day was moved to Wednesday. A cottage industry of day care, sports, and music activities has grown up to keep students occupied on their non-school day.

The new mandate for Wednesday classes came because officials were concerned that students were too tired at the end of their longer four-day-a-week classes. But there have been howls of protest from those who benefit from the Wednesday holiday. Stay tuned!

“Weird About Wednesday” in The Economist, Sept. 21, 2013 (p. 55-56), http://econ.st/1dtplIs

From the Marshall Memo #504

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