Academic failure, violence... In Marseille, a sensitive college innovates to help its students

Academic failure, violence… In Marseille, a sensitive college innovates to help its students

Built in the city of Frais-Vallon, in the northern districts of Marseille, the Jacques-Prévert college is intended to be a laboratory. In his test tubes, students who often combine academic, family and social difficulties. Its formula is simple: in a territory which is experiencing increasing difficulties – unemployment, violence and drug trafficking – the educational team of around a hundred adults tries to counteract academic failure on a daily basis by offering 11-16 year olds original activities and class systems dedicated to their issues.

“Here, we have all the elements for it to explode,” warns the principal, Rodrigue Coutouly, “and yet it doesn’t explode. Because before being a place of teaching, for the students, it is a place of life. We believe that they must feel good there, because it is often difficult at home. » Classified REP + (priority education network), part of 5% of the 7,200 French colleges located in the most disadvantaged areas, the establishment comes a long way but has additional resources. Above all, it innovates: microcollege, relay workshop, Prometheus project, etc. At Jacques-Prévert, we test systems to adapt to the specific difficulties of students.

Take care of the relationship with parents, favor small groups and above all distinguish students suffering from cognitive difficulties from those who are only demotivated, dropouts or anxious about school. Thanks also to the vegetable garden, the henhouse, the beehives and regular school outings, adolescents see their horizons broaden and gain confidence. When the social elevator is broken, the college equips its students to attempt the climb.

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