French Teachers Strike Over Gov’t Reforms

French Teachers Strike Over Gov’t ReformsFrench Teachers Strike Over Gov’t Reforms

Teachers across France went on strike against government reforms to the education system, on Tuesday. The government wants to reduce teaching of Latin and ancient Greek, scrap an intensive language scheme and change the history curriculum.

Trade unions representing 80 percent of teachers at French middle schools led the action against the plans. Reports have shown increasing inequality and declining performance in French schools.

But the unions say the reforms would only serve to increase inequalities and class separation. Teachers held protests in Paris and dozens of towns and cities around the country on Tuesday, BBC reported.

The action follows weeks of strongly-worded dispute between Education Minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem and her critics.

Vallaud-Belkacem recently described opponents of the history program as “pseudo-intellectuals” after they said it would deprive pupils of vast chunks of France’s cultural heritage.

School reform is a sensitive subject in a country that prides itself on equal access to education, and the plan to revamp secondary teaching is opposed by a majority of citizens, the conservative opposition and even parts of the ruling left.