Skip to Content

2018: Marine project for schools, Reunion. Wikipedia

Illiteracy three times higher in France’s overseas territories

The French National Assembly's overseas delegation published an information report on education in Guadeloupe, Martinique and Reunion. While it noted some improvements, the report mainly pointed out dysfunctional... buildings.

Published: June 7, 2021, 2:18 pm

    According to a parliamentary report, dilapidated buildings, transport problems, lack of resources, and a high drop-out rate have marked French education outside France. The National Assembly’s overseas delegation published an information report on education in overseas territories. The text, which focuses on Reunion, Martinique and Guadeloupe – all with large African populations – provides an inventory and suggests solutions to remedy the problems specific to these schools.

    “The first challenge is to overcome illiteracy,” the deputy of Réunion David Lorion, one of the authors of the report noted. An illiterate is a person who, although educated in France, has not mastered the French language. Illiteracy is largely over-represented in overseas territories. According to the latest data available, in 2019, 11,8 percent of young people aged 16 to 26 encountered difficulties in the field of reading in France. In Guadeloupe, Martinique and Reunion, this rate is an alarming 30 percent.

    To try to stem the problem, the deputies proposed to include regional languages, in particular Creole.

    As a reminder in Reunion, 30 percent of children have Reunion Creole as their mother tongue at home. These languages can be used as a vehicle for learning French and are said to be an asset against illiteracy. However, according to the deputies, appropriate material must be made available to teachers, in particular bilingual textbooks.

    Students in Martinique, Guadeloupe and Reunion have fewer school days per year than others. The causes are multiple, as Cécile Rilhac, one of the authors noted, pointing out “absences linked to recurring social conflicts, extreme climatic events, water cuts or more localized events,” which include rat control operations.

    The success rates for the 2018 general and technological baccalaureate are closer to the national average of 90 percent, with 89,4 percent in Reunion, 87,8 percent in Guadeloupe and 83,4 percent in Martinique. However, these good results are a sham: dropouts leave school before the baccalaureate, and therefore are not counted in the statistics.

    Dropping out of school remains a major problem, but it has slightly decreased thanks to specific measures, in particular help with homework. The dropout has fallen by 36 percent in Martinique and 27 percent in Reunion over the last 5 years. In Guadeloupe, school failure fell by 17 percent between 2017 and 2019.

    According to the Martinique Academy, 64 percent of students study in an environment vulnerable to earthquakes, something which has not influenced children in Japan however. In Guadeloupe, only 35 percent of schools, 34 percent of colleges and 19 percent of high schools were up to seismic standards in 2019. The report also stressed that “elementary equipment such as erasers and chalk were lacking” and that “most establishments should be asbestos free”.

    The digital equipment in the establishments is, according to the report, insufficient. Some 22 percent of students in Martinique do not have access to it in their establishment. Digital inequality, which plays out in the classroom but also at home, was revealed during the health crisis, they say. At least 25 percent of Martinican students were unable to benefit from educational continuity because they did not have a computer at home, against only 5 percent in France.

    MEPs insisted on the issue of transport. In Martinique, the school bus service of several establishments, at different times, is done at the same time. The consequence of this is long days for the students, who arrive at their school well before the start of classes and leave after their end. There is also the question of the cost of transport which is particularly high for students who have to take a boat trip to get to class. It was cited as a cause of absenteeism.

    The price of school supplies is also a problem. According to the deputies, it is “three times higher than in France”  in the territories. And these prices are increasing, a survey conducted in Martinique showed an increase of 34 percent between 2019 and 2020.

    To resolve these specific difficulties, MEPs proposed measures adapted to the territories. They made dozens of various recommendations, such as overhauling the map of priority establishments, air conditioning in the buildings, providing them with a dining hall or even adapting the school calendar to climatic conditions.

    Consider donating to support our work

    Help us to produce more articles like this. FreeWestMedia is depending on donations from our readers to keep going. With your help, we expose the mainstream fake news agenda.

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.


    ‘Finland is ours’ – Nationalists advance in local elections

    On Sunday 13 June, Finland went to the polls, which was a great success for the nationalist True Finns. The party's overall result in the country's municipalities was 14,5 percent, an increase of 5,6 percentage points and 581 new seats since the last municipal election in 2017.

    UK: Teachers should no longer say ‘boy’ and ‘girl’

    LondonA British LGBT organization urged teachers to stop using the words "boy" and "girl". In addition, the organization that fights for the rights of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals (LGBT) is urging schools to give children the option of both school uniforms – both skirts and pants.

    France: By an overwhelming majority young adults shun polls

    ParisTwo separate surveys give a better idea of ​​which young French voters decided not to vote on Sunday, June 20. According to Ipsos, nearly 87 percent of 18-24 year olds did not go to vote. A substantially equivalent proportion was revealed among 25-34 year olds, with 83 percent of whom shunned the ballot box.

    Almost two thirds of Germans refuse to accept more migrants

    BerlinA clear majority of Germans reject taking in more migrants. A recent survey showed that 62,5 percent are of the opinion that Germany should not accept any more "refugees" in view of the increasing number of refugees worldwide. Some 28 percent answered yes to a corresponding question.

    Interview with Alexander Dugin – ‘Welcome all newcomers!’

    Prof. Alexander Dugin, philosopher and geopolitical expert from Russia, sees the world changing: the old liberalism is being replaced by a new, aggressive, globalist mutation. Manuel Ochsenreiter's interview with Dugin gives a fascinating insight into the globalist future.

    Legal expert condemns Dutch patience for jihadists

    RotterdamA case that is representative of the ongoing Islamization of the Netherlands has exposed the Dutch tolerance for Islamic extremists, argues Paul Cliteur, a distinguished law professor in the Netherlands from Leiden University and a defence witness for Geert Wilders when Wilders was on trial for “hate speech”.

    German PEI greenlights Pfizer citing insufficient data after myocarditis reports

    BerlinThe new report by the Paul Ehrlich Institute (PEI) states that there is still "no clear picture" between cases of myocardial inflammation and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccinations. Mainly young men are affected. Notably, myocarditis can trigger a life-threatening arrhythmia or lead to cardiac arrest.

    AfD inquiry into refugee policy making waves in Hong Kong

    BerlinAn inquiry from the Eurosceptic AfD to the German federal government regarding the "German refugee policy towards the Chinese special administrative zone Hong Kong and the granting of asylum status" has apparently caused a sensation reaching as far as Southeast Asia.

    Education and immigration are main primers for voter choices

    ParisThe economists Amory Gethin, Clara Martínez-Toledano and Thomas Piketty, who work at the World Inequality Lab at the Paris School of Economics, asked some interesting questions in a study published in early May. The three researchers collected data from several Western democracies. Immigrant voters distinguish themselves by choosing the left.

    New Austrian conservative strongman calls into question arbitrary Corona rules

    ViennaFormer Austrian Interior Minister Herbert Kickl (FPÖ) is considered the new strong man in his party, slated to take over the leadership soon. In an interview translated from ZUERST! Kickl explains how he wants to bring the FPÖ back to being the top party.

    Go to archive