One of the chief concerns of Marshal Petain appears to be the _borough reorganisation of French youth, according to reports from France in the American Press.
For this purpose widespread reforms in the French educational system and in youth movements are being prepared.
Manual training will play a greater role in the curricula of the French public schools than hitherto, the chief of the French State says, announcing a thorough overhauling of the French public school system, and studies of a more " theoretical " snd " encyclopaedic " nature will be dropped.
REDUCING IMPORTANCE OF SORBONNE In the field of high education provincial universities will be fostered, and original research workers will be placed on (Ilea staffs, he states, with a view to reducing thy overwhelming importance of the Sorbonne (University of Paris) in the French educe tional system.
The Church has rightly complained the in the past French schools have bee: dominated by Freemasons, who supplies teachers with anti-religious and pacffis
sentiments. All this is going to ex changed in the New France, according to
Petain, who has said " The public school was a lie. Under the cloak of unity there was a school division, class struggle and national destruction. French schools of to-morrow will teach respect of human individuals, the family, society and the country. There is no objectivity possible between true and false, good and evil, order and disorder, France and antiFrance."
retain has promised that all existing French youth movements will be maintained, thus refusing to imitate the German single youth movement. Boy Scouts and religious youth organisations will be preserved.
YOUTH GROUPS OF THE DE-MOBBED
But new movements to deal with the present problems are being organised. The first step in this direction was the formation of " youth groups " from the demobilised classes of 1939 and 1940. These lads of nineteen and twenty were called up only a few weeks before the armistice, and only a few of them saw action. Nevertheless, they faced the prospect of being demobilised and finding no jobs. Rather than demoralise the youth of the country in this way, the Main government decided step in and save the situation.
So while these youths have been released from military obligations, they are being held for a period of sixth months. During this lime they will lead an out-of-doors life and do manual labour such as irrigation, exploitation of forests. and construelion of country roads.
By virtue of this law more than 70,000 youths, who otherwise would have found themselves on the street without jobs, are performing useful services for their country.
COMPANIONS OF FRANCE These youth groups must not be confused with the " Companions of France," another youth organisation just created by the Petain Ministry. This movement is designed to bring together youths of sixteen to twenty years who do not belong to one of the existing youth organisations.
The first camp of Companions of France " was established in July in Oak Forest Chateau at Randau, fourteen kilometres from Vichy. From it last week, after training for a month, were graduated forty-five young fellows who will be " chiefs of the companions." They have gone out to the four corners of France to form the first units of " Companions " all over the country.
The " Companions " have a rallying cry, " France "; a motto, " United to Serve," and an oath which the neophyte must take: " I put myself at the service of France and promise to obey my chiefs and perform the work of the Companions.'"