At the beginning of the next school year, a private school is opened in Agen, “Les Comètes”, offering lessons according to the methods of Montessori, Freinet and Steiner-Waldorf, and the development, autonomy and responsibility of the pupils. She will give a lecture about it on Saturday.
The school “Les Comètes” takes place in the leisure center of the islands, in a building rented from the municipality of Agen. Do not open a school, not even privately, who wants to: a file richly provided with many guarantees was drawn up by the association that will manage the school. It is chaired by Karime Tahraoui, “National Education teacher and sensitive to the cause of autism”.
All members of the association have found at some point in their lives that the so-called “classical” school does not provide the same benefits for everyone. It happens that children stay on the road, while they have certain abilities, while they suffer from particularities, more or less severe, for example autism, but also dyslexia which can hinder the child in its learning process and confront it with successive failures, leading to to fall.
“Disappointed” with teaching methods at “normal” school
In the association there are therefore several teachers from the National Education who wanted to take a different path. “We are not going to do what the others can’t do, we don’t have this pretension. We come in addition to the current offer, in particular offered by associations such as Planète autism or even Tom Enfant Phare with whom of course , we have contacted. And we already have several promises of registration “comments Jean-Pierre Govignon, former teacher and head of establishment in colleges and secondary schools and François Courtine, assistant professor for research on the disability .
“We wanted to offer an alternative to the traditional course. Many of us have had students with disabilities in their careers. And we couldn’t do what we would have liked to support them. The school of Comètes is built on inclusive values, with a lot of attention for the child. For example, it is the children who furnish their classroom according to their wishes. They have tables, chairs, carpets at their disposal …”
Especially the quirks of the child
For example, Montessori pedagogy is based on the observation of children, in all their differences. The adult places himself in a certain way at the level of the child and will adapt the lessons accordingly. It is therefore not up to the child to adapt to the teacher, but on the contrary.
“We had official permission from the Rector to open on April 28 for the next school year,” assure Jean-Pierre Govignon and François Courtine. Who says that a private school has to pay, is necessarily saying costs. For the Comètes they amount to 400 euros per month during the ten months of the school year, to which there is an additional 300 euros registration fee, 150 euros per year for administration costs, 80 euros per month for the canteen, 75 euros per month for childcare. The school starts from the first kindergarten class and continues until CM2 for the time being.
This represents a substantial budget. The school is not yet under contract with the national education system, but it does receive an annual visit from a sector inspector. “We have a lot of expenses and we pay our teachers ourselves. But the social component, we really care. That’s why we approach several institutional and private partners who with their financial help these costs for the low-income families.”
This Saturday, June 4 at 7.30 pm, at the stadium of Agen, the school association “Les Comètes” offers an evening meeting open to all, in order to better present its project. Professor Christian Alin, author of, among others, “autism at school” will hold a conference. All interested parents can then make an appointment to discuss their child’s situation with the education team before deciding whether or not to enroll their child. The school’s godfather, the former professional footballer of the Girondins de Bordeaux and Arsenal club, Marouane Chamakh, will also be in attendance this Saturday.