Free tutoring for disadvantaged school students
par Annabelle Bouard | 01.05.10
Students from volunteer French “Grandes Ecoles” help school students who are in difficulty throughout the school year. Objectives: To help them to pass the Brevet des Collèges (French Certificate of general education) and to enhance workplace.
When at school, a school student may need individual support. But his parents may not have the skills to support their own child, nor the financial means to use a qualified help. This is where Zup de Co intervenes. The non-profit organization, which started in 2005, provides school students from disadvantaged backgrounds who have difficulty at school with free tutoring.
Created at the initiative of Francis Benthanane, the current president, and Kevin André, its deputy manager, Zup de Co relies on volunteer students from colleges or universities, who help school students who are in difficulty with an individual support from the sixth to the third class.
The value of example
Francis Benthanane himself is from a disadvantaged family. He was directed towards a technical training at the end of the third class but still was able to access to higher education through the HEC program “Challenges Plus” for creators of innovative businesses. Turned entrepreneur, he is intend to enhance educational pathways that are likely to help disadvantaged young people to go out of their communities. He does it with Zup de Co, as well as through debates he organizes in neighborhoods known for their difficulties or as he participates to institutional roundtables.
Zup de Co website includes many stories highlighting the successful career of people from humble backgrounds. On Kevin André side, he was a teacher in priority education zone (ZEP) for a while. A graduate of ESSEC, he also holds a Diploma of advanced Study in philosophy, and had chosen to teach by civic engagement. From this experience, he learned that the teachers who don’t have the mean to ensure a customized follow-up of students who are in difficulty are in a deadlock.
The “Brevet des Collèges” as a line of sight
A student who wishes to help a school student who is in difficulty should volunteers on the Zup de Co website. He enters the nature of his studies, the subjects in which he is likely to provide support, and its geographic area. Then, the association assigns volunteers to young people in difficulties. Two hours per week, the student helps the school student to reach the level in French and mathematics required by the first diploma of its schooling. Conversely, this involvement of student volunteers could be valued in their own programme, as part of civic education, or as a way to develop their listening and teaching skills.
To help 3000 young people in September 2012
Zup de Co has ambitious goals. The association, which accompanied around 160 young people in the first quarter of 2009, plans to support more than 300 school students during the 2009-2010 school year. Further, it aims to support over 3,000 children in the school year 2012. In 2009, Zup de Co has received sponsorship from the Ministry of Education. End of 2009, Francis Benthanane met Martin Hirsch, High Commissioner for Active Solidarity, to get his support.
A partnership with a dozen Grandes Ecoles
- Ecole Polytechnique
- ISC Paris
- Pôle Universitaire Léonard de Vinci
- Université Paris Diderot