In Strasbourg, at the school of Europe

By Violaine Morin

Posted today at 3:30 p.m., updated at 3:30 p.m.

Don’t tell them that the European Union (EU) is for many a concept “wave”, of which some French people do not really understand the usefulness and even less how it works. At the European School of Strasbourg, an establishment founded in 2008 for the city’s European and international staff, high school students know – something rare – the difference between ” the board “ and ” the Commission “. They also know – something even rarer – that the Council of Europe is not an EU institution.

These students are every history teacher’s dream. The majority of those we met are considering studying political science after the baccalaureate. Some will try to enter the institutes of political studies and Sciences Po Paris, but most want to settle in the Netherlands, Spain or Italy. “It’s practical, with the European baccalaureate, you don’t need to ask for a diploma equivalence”explains Clara, Monday April 4, in terminal in the establishment.

Lise, 18, in her final year at the European School in Strasbourg, April 4, 2022.

Clara, Raphaël, Anselme, Lise, Ianut, Carla and their classmates will not pass the same baccalaureate as the other students in France. Their diploma is European and culminates twelve years of a European course taught in three languages ​​of your choice from kindergarten (French, English or German). “The programs decided in Brussels are the result of a consensus between the Ministers of Education of the Twenty-Seven”, explains Olivier Tedde, the headmaster of this establishment of 1,000 students. A greater diversity in the pedagogical approach and a history program less centered on France are among the differences with the program dictated by the Ministry of National Education. The latter nevertheless remunerates the teachers of this public school, recruited on profile.

The other difference lies, of course, in the presence of European actions for secondary school pupils, which are called “European hours” in primary school: activities to raise awareness of the institutions and values ​​of Europe, which keep pupils of all ages busy every week.

For them, belonging to Europe is anything but abstract. Firstly, because they evolve in the heart of the European district of Strasbourg – with an unobstructed view, from the playground, of the European Parliament and the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), located at the end of the Street. “We regularly organize visits and exchanges with political personnel at the heart of the institutions”, says Alain Fassiaux, history-geography teacher who coordinates European actions for secondary school students. “I don’t know if we are at the heart of a happy Europe, but in any case at the heart of a Europe that existsremarks the teacher. In addition to the physical presence of institutions, many children have a parent who works there, which makes their existence very concrete for them. »

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