Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Jules Ferry

Monument to Jules Ferry by Gustave Michel, Jardin des Tuileries, Tuileries Garden, Paris
Monument to Jules Ferry by Gustave Michel, 1910
Jardin des Tuileries (Tuileries Garden)
Paris, July 2009

In the 1880s, Jules Ferry implemented a series of strict measures to further weaken regional languages in France, as shown in Bernard Poignant's 1998 report to Lionel Jospin. These included children being given punishments by their teachers for speaking Occitan in a Toulouse school or Breton in Brittany. Art. 30 of Loi d'éducation française (French Teaching Law, 1851) stated that: “It is strictly forbidden to speak patois during classes or breaks.” As Pêr-Jakez Helias (1914-1995), the author of the 1975 best-selling novel Le Cheval d'orgueil (The Horse of Pride), recalls in this interview,
Now I know, I learned that there was a government policy which goal was obviously to make France one and indivisible, and as a result regional languages had to disappear. But I didn't know it then and maybe the teachers of the Third Republic did, though I asked some of them and they all denied it. Their own job was to teach us French. And consequently, while attending school, we were required to speak French. Whenever we used Breton instead, we weren't doing our share and so we deserved to be expelled. Period.
(Vergonha, Wikipedia)

1 comment:

cieldequimper said...

Ironically, they didn't manage to eradicate regional languages and even more ironically, now you can go to Breton school from kindergarden to "le baccalauréat" and be taught in Breton...