By Aya Soulimani
Marrakech – Out of the 15,000 candidates that applied to Le Plumier d’Or, only 60 received awards. Two of these students, Yasmine Laarabi from collège Anatole France and Reda El Fahdi from lycée Lyautey in Casablanca, proudly represented Morocco.
Founded in 1997, Le Plumier d’Or is an international examination of the French language organized for eighth graders by Défense de la Langue Française (DLF), whose main goal is to preserve and protect the French language. This examination is held in honor of La Semaine de la Francophonie and is sponsored by the Senate, the Navy, and many other patrons, such as Les Belles Lettres, Tours de France and Editions du Triomphe.
In order for these Moroccan laureates to participate, they had to fulfil certain qualifications. First, they had to be in 8th grade, which is called the “4e année de college” in France. It was also mandatory for their class to participate as whole in order to take the examination. Throughout the exam, which was held in January, their French teachers had to supervise them and register each student in the class as candidates in the competition.
Ms. Laarabi and Mr. El Fahdi were part of the selected 60 laureates, a grou[ which included brilliant students from countries such as the UAE, UK, India, France, India and Germany. In order to be considered excellent French speakers, they first had to take the exam, which had a grammar section (out of 70 points) and an essay section (out of 30 points). Their French professor was responsible for grading the grammar section. The tests with the three highest scores would then be sent to a committee in France, assigned by the DLF, that would be responsible for grading the writing/essay section.
In the 11th of March 2016, Yasmine and Reda, along with the other 58 laureates, were sent letters congratulating them for being the winners of 2016 Plumier d’Or examinations and inviting them, along with their teachers, to the Senate’s ceremony in Paris in order to collect their prizes. The prizes consist of books, games, and watches. The ceremony was held May 25, and the laureates got their diplomas at the beginning of this passing June.