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  • Publié le : 26 septembre 2010
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Should kids be paid to go to school?

Time Magazine seems shocked by a “pilot program”  that "started this month at three vocational high schools in disadvantaged suburbs of Paris.”

Accordingto the American-based journal, accounts, like bank accounts, will be set up for two classes in each school, each containing approximately €3,000 euro. If students maintain good attendance records andreach “performance targets” agreed upon with their teachers, payments will be added to their class account, like “rewards”.

The students cannot go and spend the money on a new iPod or an Xbox.Each account, which can reach a maximum amount of approximately €15,000, can only be used to finance a school-related project or something such as a class trip to the UK to improve foreign-languageskills. The kids can also buy computer equipment for the classroom or driving lessons to obtain a license. Not the greatest fun to be had, but not bad, nonetheless.
The French government, it says, istrying to increase student motivation and class attendance. It is genuinely concerned about the number of French teenagers who leave school without earning a diploma or professional training certificate,and wants to reduce this figure.

Approximately 120,000 to 150,000 French teenagers leave school with nothing each year.
The program is being tested only at vocational schools, which means, inEnglish, schools which directly equip kids for the work market. The traditional high schools, which most students attend to prepare for the Bac’ and university study beyond, will not pilot this scheme.Students at vocational schools are over-represented by youth from marginalized, immigrant-heavy areas. It is they who have the most academic problems in France.

Kids who find themselves in“vocational” schools often feel like failures. Some lose interest when they're moved to classes they're not interested in because of acute competition for the more popular subjects. Truancy and...