The education authority
Martinique is one of the French overseas départements that lies between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. It is part of the Lesser Antilles and enjoys a tropical climate with temperatures ranging from 22-32°C. The people of Martinique speak French and Creole, and despite its small area (1,080km2), it is actually quite a diverse island. With the exception of the Lamentin plain, in the centre of the island, the landscape here is generally undulating, with notable features including volcano Mount Pelée (1397m) to the north, the Carbet Peaks (1196m), and to the south, Mount Vauclin and even Morne Larcher ('Larcher Hill').
The history of Martinique appears to be intimately linked to colonial expansion and the evolution thereof, resulting in Martinique becoming part of France by means of the departmentalisation law of 19 March 1946. The Martinican population is the result of the mix of African, European, Indian, Syrian, Lebanese and Chinese populations, giving rise to a wide variety of racial backgrounds and making the island a real cultural melting pot.
Martinique boasts modern infrastructures and a higher standard of living than that of most of the countries in the Caribbean.
As a European Outermost Region, the currency of Martinique is the euro.
The Martinican population stood at 403,000 inhabitants on 1st January 2008, and despite being an ageing population, resulting in reduced numbers of school enrolments, it is nevertheless still relatively young and dynamic, with 29% of the population under 20 years of age, 53% between 20 and 59 years of age and 18% over 60.
Tourist and cultural attractions
- www.martiniquetourisme.com/decouvrez/ile/Les-communes-de-Martinique Website of the Martinique Tourism Committee, providing an overview of the host town + the website of the town in question, if there is one.
The place of the teaching assistant within the education authority
Host school setup
Assistants are supported by the local independent young people's housing committee with regards to tenants' rights and obligations, which is also able to offer accommodation.
The average wage is €1,000 net, which is more than the wage paid in mainland France because the cost of living is higher in Martinique.
Accommodation: tutors will help the assistant to find accommodation that best meets their expectations, bearing in mind the realities of the limited Martinican housing stock. As an indication, rent can vary between €250 and €550 per month. It is a good idea to live in the town to which you are assigned wherever possible so as to avoid the major traffic jams on the island.
Education establishments: key figures for 2011-2012
The Martinique education authority comprises the following:
- 341 schools and education establishments
- 82 secondary education establishments (49 collèges and 33 lycées):
- 66 public establishments
- 16 private secondary education establishments
- 259 lower schools, including:
- 243 public schools
- 16 private schools
The environment in which the assistant is required to work will be primarily rural and semi-urban.
Specifics of the role of the assistant within the education authority
The language assistant is generally assigned to work 9 hours at a general and/or vocational lycée and 3 hours at a collège. In the case of Spanish, it is possible that they may be assigned to 3 different establishments in the same area given the very limited number of assistants. Primary school language assistants are generally assigned to 3 schools in the same area. It has become increasingly common in recent years for pupils to wear a school uniform, particularly in secondary education. Martinique is a tropical island with a pleasant climate (22-30oC), but assistants should nevertheless wear appropriate clothing in the workplace, meaning that shorts, T-shirts, open-back garments, short skirts, etc. are unacceptable.