Education in France - History

History

While the French trace the development of their educational system to Napoléon, the modern era of French education begins at the end of the nineteenth century. Jules Ferry, a lawyer holding the office of Minister of Public Instruction in the 1880s, is widely credited for creating the modern school (l'école républicaine) by requiring all children between the ages of 6 and 12 — both boys and girls — to attend. He also made public instruction mandatory, free of charge and secular (laïque). With these laws, known as Jules Ferry laws, and several others, the Third Republic repealed most of the Falloux Laws of 1850-1851, which gave an important role to the clergy.

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