Education was high on Napoleon's list of priorities, which were in large part those of the middle class. Napoleon believed in a system of merit, and for such a system to be effective there must be some form of widespread education, especially at the secondary level. Besides, the state of French education was not all that it could have been when Napoleon began to rule. This fact was made abundantly clear by the results of a survey of all prefects in the nation conducted in March of 1801, under the direction of Minister for Home Affairs Chaptal. Numerous complaints were heard regarding the lack of schools in many areas, lack of professionalism among teachers, lack of discipline and attendance by the students and, in a few areas, the lack of religious education.


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