5 pct of 16-year olds are illiterate in France: report

Five percent of the 16-year olds, or about 35,000 individuals, in France are illiterate, French daily news Le Figaro reported on Friday.

The newspaper quoted a report published by the French General Inspection of Education (IGEN) as saying that one young person out of ten would experience “serious difficulties in reading” in France.

The report pointed out the absence of concrete actions to tackle illiteracy in the country. The “alerts” given by teachers are “ignored”, Le Figaro said.

“Since illiteracy has been evaluated in France, the numbers are the same: 80 percent of readers ‘satisfied’, 15 percent ‘in difficulty’ and 5 percent ‘out of the scope'”, said Claude Lelievre, historian of France’s education.

Lelievre said that illiteracy is not due to the teaching methods but to a “social origin, a culture, a relationship with writing and an ease in oral.”

Alain Bentolila, linguist and specialist of illiteracy, said the country’s illiteracy is due to the failure of the Ministry of National Education. ■

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