The normal schools, maintained by the state on a secular basis, were founded by President Sarmiento, who engaged experienced teachers in the United States to direct them; their work is excellent; notably, their model primary schools.
Each department is bound to maintain two primary training colleges, one for masters, the other for mistresses of primary schools.
There are two higher training colleges of primary instruction at Fontenay-aux-Roses and St Cloud for the training of mistresses and masters of training colleges and higher primary schools.
Public primary schools include (1) icoles maternellesinfant schools for children from two to six years old; (2) elementary primary schoolsthese are the ordinary schools for children from six to thirteen; (3) higher primary schools (coles primaires suprieures) and supplementary courses; these admit pupils who have gained the certificate of primary elementary studies (cerlificat diludes primaires), offer a more advanced course and prepare for technical instruction; (4) primary technical schools (coles manuelles dapprenlissage, coles primaires suprleures professionnelles) kept by the communes or departments.
Persons keeping private primary schools are free with regard to their methods, programmes and books employed, except that they may not use books expressly prohibited by the superior council of public instruction.