Is positive discrimination the way forward for France?

Is positive discrimination the way forward for France? This is a big question which can’t be answered here and which greater minds than me have battled. But this  programme – Des ”ZEP” à Sciences-Po, 5 ans après… – Envoyé spécial La suite – Envoyé spécial – France2 – made me think. I didn’t mean to watch but became fascinated by the subject as it raises many questions. First of all kudos to France 2 to actually follow-up on earlier programmes, many TV chains don’t.

The programme that was presented during the show is a about positive discrimination to get more children from underprivileged areas to go on to higher education notably within France’s Grande Ecoles. In reality though it seems like only the Sciences-Po had opened its doors. During the programme we followed a number of students and them studying at sciences-Po had had a very positive impact on their life.

First of all I was chocked about the waste of resources that seems to be the practise within the French society today; an elitist system puts an efficient block to accepting new entrants into the system thus hindering development of the country it so badly needs.

Second of all I started to think about positive discrimination – is it the way forward? Is it so that in order to achieve necessary change the elite needs a kick in the butt? I have a hard time to make up my mind. The question about positive discrimination often comes up in relation to equality on the work place. My take is that while I certainly want to have a successful career I want my achievements to be the result of my own hard work and capabilities – not because someone pities me. On the other hand, in the case of the programme described by France2 the students certainly had worked hard to pass any necessary exams to get in to the school and they certainly were given no favours once they were over the threshold and accepted at sciences-Po.

When it comes to positive discrimination should one concentrate on the “positive” or the “discrimination”?

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