Civil training in Ivory Coast for two Ingénieur Polytechnicien students
From left to right : ADC Nicolas VITALIS, Valentin CLARISSE, Tess BRETON, MAJ Yannick PITOIS
Tess Breton and Valentin Clarisse, both students in the Ingénieur Polytechnicien program (X2021), chose to do the program’s civil training in Yamoussoukro, Ivory Coast. Tess joined the staff at the high school Mamie Adjoua, where she was primarily in charge of tutorials for science classes. Valentin was assigned to the Institut National Polytechnique Félix Houphouët-Boigny (INP-HB) and entrusted with preparing the MP class for the mathematics and physics tests and with grading of homework.
During their stay, Tess and Valentin also helped to prepare the entrance exam to the Grandes Écoles, organized in Ivory Coast once a year with the support of École Polytechnique’s Department of Civil and Military training (Direction de la Formation Humaine et Militaire).
"After four months, a student came to see me and told me that, thanks to my interventions and my investment, he planned to dedicate his professional career to science" explains Valentin and adds: "The civil training taught me to be more autonomous and to take plenty of initiatives. Furthermore, it provided me with the opportunity to develop my teaching skills. And I discovered that I have much more stamina and adaptability than I thought."
Throughout their stay from the beginning of October 2021 to the end of March 2022, Tess and Valentin took part in the daily life at the two higher education institutions in Ivory Coast. They were also able to discover the culture of the country. Both report they were welcomed with great kindness and appreciated the trust the professors in Yamoussoukro placed in them. "Thanks to this civil training, I strengthened my self-confidence and developed my social skills," emphasizes Tess.
The six-month civil and military training is an important component of the Ingénieur Polytechnicien program and is mandatory for all French students during the program's first year. The training can be completed in the armed forces or a civilian organization. By introducing students to an environment, which is very different from the world of preparatory classes and university, this six-month training period fosters valuable qualities: open-mindedness, maturity, and the knowledge of social realities. These qualities are all the more essential for students who are likely to hold important positions as engineers or managers in the future.