French Concours & 科举 (Chinese Imperial Exams)

Math Online Tom Circle

French Concours was influenced by Chinese Imperial Exams (科举ko-gu in ancient Chinese, today in Hokkien dialect) from 7AD till 1910.  The French  Jesuits working in China during the 16th -18th centuries were the culprits to bring them to France, and Napoleon copied it for the newly established Grande École “École Polytechnique” (a.k.a. X).

The “Bachelier” (or Baccalauréat from Latin-Arabic origin) is the Xiucai (秀才), only with this qualification can  a person teach school kids.

With Licencié (ju-ren 举人) a qualification to teach higher education.

Concours was admired in France as meritocratic and fair social system for poor peasants’ children to climb up the upper social strata -” Just study hard to be the top Concours students”! As the old Chinese saying: “十年寒窗无人问, 一举成名天下知” (Unknown poor student in 10 years, overnight fame in whole China once top in Concours).Today,  even in France, the top Concours student in École Polytechnique…

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