Ecole Française to open new building for crèche pupils


17-June-2009

Mr Marcellet talking to journalists on the premises of the new complex (background)


The one-storey building, which has five classrooms and a play and exercise room, took three years to complete and is now in its final stage of being furnished.

It can take a total of 80 pupils aged 2-6, and the school already has 60 elementary pupils following classes in the other, older buildings.

Ecole Française director Olivier Marcellet explained that the new building, which will cater only for elementary pupils, has been designed to give maximum comfort and to be as conducive to their learning as possible.
 
“All the classrooms are very spacious so they can have their various little corners, such as games and reading corners,” he said.

The school is run under a convention of a French government agency that oversees French education abroad.

A scene from the recent variety show hosted by the school

This agency administers the education of the students according to the official guidelines, instructions and schedule set by the French Ministry of National Education. The school is part of a network scattered over more than 400 countries, with over 300,000 students attending.

With the new building in operation, students who have been going to the Alliance Française for classes – due to a lack of space – will now be able to resume classes at the school.

Mr Marcellet also pointed out that not only French students attend the school; various other nationalities make up the student population, with a maximum of 25 per class. The school now has a total of 200 students of about a dozen nationalities, including Seychellois.

“It is a common misconception that we have only French students here and that we cater merely for crèche-level students,” he said.

“We have students from countries like Russia, Madagascar, Spain, England and the Czech Republic, to name a few, and we want people to know that we are a bilingual school catering for students of all academic levels from the ages of two to 18.
 
“In fact, for the past four years we have had a 100% pass rate for our students sitting for their Brevet exams, which are standard exams for all Ecoles Françaises in francophone countries.”

The school also has annual variety shows, the last one being held on June 4 and entitled Solo. It told the life story of an African boy of the same name, through song, dance and drama, and had students from all classes taking part.
 
Mr Marcellet said registration has already begun for the new school year, which starts on September 1. The school will close on June 30 for the holidays.
 
The new building has cost €200,000, with French sponsors donating 80% of the total cost and the Yangtze Construction Company as contractor.

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