Conscription plan to combat illiteracy

1st March 1996 at 00:00
The use of national service conscripts to teach reading and writing, the introduction of a regular "reading for pleasure" session at school and action in prisons and unemployment centres are among the latest proposals to combat illiteracy.

The report, commissioned by prime minister Alain Juppe, was presented by Pierre Lequiller, who is chairman of an illiteracy campaign as well as member of parliament and mayor of Louvecinnes.

"Illiteracy is very serious and widespread in France, and the response of society and the public authorities to it is largely insufficient," said M Lequiller.

He said it made life more difficult for the unemployed, and was associated with many other factors of exclusion, creating a cultural disparity which can have repercussions from generation to generation.

According to surveys carried out by the education and defence ministries, one French person in five is unable to read or to understand a text of 70 words (their criterion for defining illiteracy).

France pulled out of an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development study into reading proficiency, the results of which were published in December, when it appeared to be trailing badly in an international comparison.

This study found 40 per cent of French people to be "functionally illiterate", lacking the basic reading skills necessary for daily life, such as reading a bus timetable.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now