On November 24, 2021 the world celebrated the third edition of the International French Teachers’ Day, a holiday established at the initiative of the French President Emmanuel Macron to honour the commitment and tireless initiatives of French language teachers all over the globe.
On this special occasion, the Alliances françaises in Pretoria, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, and Maseru organised a series of workshops and festive events to celebrate French teachers from South Africa and Lesotho. It is a day when teachers meet for convivial moments, exchange ideas, share their experiences and practices, all in a friendly and benevolent atmosphere which promotes togetherness and solidarity.
In Pretoria, the Ambassador of France to South Africa, Lesotho and Malawi hosted a cocktail reception in honor of the local and expatriate French teachers. In his speech to a gathering of over sixty teachers, Ambassador Aurélien Lechevallier highlighted the numerous training opportunities offered to local teachers, as well as joint initiatives between the DBE and the French Embassy as evidence of the two nations’ strong and long-standing partnership. He also praised French teachers for their efforts in preserving and promoting French in South Africa and Lesotho. The cocktail party was followed by a screening of La vie scolaire, a movie recounting the story of a young vice principal in a difficult Parisian school, which was much appreciated by the crowd.
The International French Teachers’ Day in the Western Cape was held at the Alliance Française du Cap, in the presence of the Consul General of France. The event brought together 22 teachers from the region for a round table discussion followed by a convivial moment with a concert. The discussion allowed the teachers to share their experiences, concerns, and solutions, especially regarding the revalorization of the image of French as an African language and the importance of promoting professional opportunities as a means of motivating students to learn French. The meeting was highly appreciated by the participants for its productive nature and for the recognition of their work.
In the Eastern Cape, the Alliance Française de Port-Elizabeth (AFPE) held the International French Teachers’ Day in the middle of the day on Saturday, September 27. On this occasion, the pedagogical team welcomed the French teachers of Gqeberha and a remote teacher to acquaint them with the AFPE’s pedagogical resources: board games, documentary resources, manuals, and authentic resources accessible online via IFprofs, Culturethèque, and IFcinéma. The presentations were followed by a convivial moment around a 30-minute concert of recent popular French songs. The event ended with a drink and a light meal.
In Lesotho, the Alliance Française de Maseru hosted a gastronomic and festive celebration to mark this special day. Over 25 teachers and partners (MOET, ECOL, NUL, FTAL) gathered around a spectacular cake and showed off their hidden singing abilities during a francophone karaoke. In parallel, Director Jennifer Audebert conducted an interview session to promote their testimonies and showcase their experiences as Lesotho French professors.
Thank you to the French Embassy in South Africa, Lesotho, and Malawi for its support and to the Alliances françaises for making this day a success. And, most importantly, thank you to all French teachers for their dedication, enthusiasm, and resilience during these trying times.
Alliance Française de Maseru, Lesotho
Alliance Française de Port Elizabeth