March 4, 2009 / 6:25 PM / 11 years ago

You do the math. Or pay a website to do it..

PARIS (Reuters) - “You can’t do it? We’re here to help,” says the homepage of a new French website where children can pay for older students to do homework for them.

A schoolgirl studies during a morning class in a primary classroom at la Providence school in Vincennes, near Paris, May 13, 2008. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

On (, children will be able to buy answers to simple maths problems for 5 euros ($6), while a full end-of-year presentation complete with slides and speaking notes will cost 80 euros ($100).

The website goes live Thursday morning, founder Stephane Boukris told Reuters.

“I realized there was a gap in the market. Add to that a dose of insolence, a zest of arrogance and the internet, and you have,” he said.

Schoolteachers reacted with outrage.

“It is shocking. It defeats the purpose of education which is that the pupils need to learn for themselves how to do the work,” said Agathe Field, a young English teacher at a secondary school in a suburb of Paris.

“It turns them into consumers. The message is that for the right price you can get the results you want. It’s nonsense,” she said.

Boukris defended the website, saying that the schoolchildren would still learn something if they bought homework from the site because it would come with annotations from the students explaining how they got to the final result.

“We’re not just giving them the fish, we’re teaching them how to fish,” Boukris said in a telephone interview.

“Of course some schoolchildren might use the system to cheat, but they’ll have to learn sooner or later because we won’t be there on exam day,” he said.

Reporting by Estelle Shirbon; Editing by Louise Ireland

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