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BORDEAUX: French students may be suffering one of the most stressful weeks of their young lives as they take their high school exams, but at least they won’t be distracted by fighter jets.

France’s cutting-edge Rafale military planes will be flying on adjusted schedules this week in a bid to minimise disruption for the students, the commander of a military base told AFP on Tuesday.

Commander Cedric Gaudilliere said his base at Mont-de-Marsan in southwest France had “adapted its take-off and landing procedures” so as not to bother the 3,773 students taking their exams nearby.

France’s high school baccalaureate exams, launched under Napoleon in 1808, kicked off on Monday with the philosophy test which this year included questions such as “Does culture make us more human?” Some 750,000 students are taking the week-long exams, most of them aged 17 or 18 — though the youngest candidate this year is just 11, and the oldest 76.

Published in Dawn, June 20th, 2018