A closer look at the inequality of opportunity at school


RDJeunes launches a laboratory to study the barriers to academic achievement

in Villeneuve-Saint-Georges, France.

Our member association, RDJeunes pour la réussite, has been working with the Youth of Villeneuve-Saint-Georges, France, since 2015. The charity aims to raise awareness about the inequality of opportunity at school, which can in turn impact on the social and professional inclusion of young adults into society. 


To push the idea further, RDJeunes has decided to launch an 'Observatoire des Inégalités Scolaires' with a cycle of conferences in Villeneuve-Saint-Georges for every audience: newcomers as well as experts. The objective is to gather together different actors in society to discuss the types of inequality faced by Youth at school today, and find solutions that could be implemented first in Villeneuve-Saint-Georges, with a view to benefiting other areas across France in the future.


The Launch Night

On 21st November 2018, RDJeunes launched their Observatoire to take a closer look at the inequality of opportunity at school. The evening took place in the centre of Villeneuve-Saint-Georges and brought together a wide range of individuals concerned by the issues addressed by the study. The Youth performed an evocative sketch to illustrate different types of obstacles to academic inclusion, after which the audience added their own reflections. 


The Conference Cycle

The Observatoire will follow 3 phases:

Phase 1 : two committee meetings

Phase 2 : one citizen conference

Phase 3 : one last meeting to close the Observatoire and open the implementation phase


Phase 1 : The Committee Meetings

The committee is formed of the stakeholders most concerned by the academic engagement of youth in Villeneuve-Saint-Georges: professionals and academics, local administration and, of course, youth and their parents. Together they discuss the obstacles to academic attainment in depth to devise concrete solutions for the area. These ideas are then presented to youth from Villeneuve-Saint-Georges and other locals to get their insight on the initiatives. Finally, once the suggestions have been whittled down and a report has been drawn up, there will be an evening where the committee reflect on the Observatoire and take the first steps to put their solutions into action.

Committee meeting  #1

On the 6th of February 2019, the RDJeunes committee for the ‘Observatoire des inégalités scolaires’ met for the first time to discuss some of the most pressing obstacles to school attainment. Gathering in a venue in the centre of Villeneueve-Saint-Georges, the committee tackled issues such as cultural heritage, lack of academic guidance and language barriers at home as factors contributing to school drop-out and disengagement. The committee brainstormed in groups before finally coming together to share their insights on the issues and generate practical solutions to roll out locally and, eventually, further afield. Led by Tania Nsakala and her team, the evening was a brilliant start to the think tank phase of the Observatoire and we look forward to the next meeting in April!


To read the résumé in French from the first committee meeting click here (English version to come)