France is a country known for its national motto: Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité.
It is a country that has long prided itself and been celebrated for its free health and education. But cracks are appearing in the education system.
France is faring worse and worse in international education assessment tests – way behind Asian countries but also behind most countries in northern Europe.
And a recent study undertaken by a French public body shows that school actually deepens inequalities among pupils. Ironic, when you think that the words Liberty, Equality, Fraternity are inscribed on the pediments of French public schools. What are the reasons behind this and what changes can politicians introduce. Sophie Claudet talks to the French Education Minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem.
How does the French system compare with those in other European countries?
In this edition of Insiders Hans von der Brelie reports from Netherlands and reveals how decision makers and teachers have created an integrated education system.
And Insiders’ Valerie Zabriskie looks at life in the French classroom. She met teachers, parents and pupils.