More French teachers in British Columbia, thanks to support from the federal government
VICTORIA, March 4, 2020 /CNW/ - For many years, stakeholders in the education community across the country have noted a shortage of teachers in French-language minority schools, as well as in immersion and French as a second language programs. This situation has a serious impact on minority-language communities and the promotion of bilingualism.
While in Victoria, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, accompanied by the Honourable Rob Fleming, British Columbia's Minister of Education, confirmed financial support for the recruitment and retention of Francophone teachers in British Columbia. More than $2 million will be granted to the province to support French-language education for young students. The Government of British Columbia will also contribute more than $300,000 towards this strategy.
This investment will have a significant impact on the recruitment and retention of French-language teachers in British Columbia by supporting projects related to minority-language education and second-language learning.
The strategy comprises eight initiatives: improving the data collection system for French teachers; conducting research on supply and demand factors; improving teacher training programs; accelerating the teacher certification process; supporting new teachers; developing and supporting professional networks for French teachers; providing French-language training for in-service teachers; and expanding teacher training programs. All the initiatives build on each other to maximize the effectiveness of efforts and funding to better meet the needs of stakeholders in the province's French-language education sector.
"From generation to generation, Francophones and Francophiles in British Columbia have been able to keep their language and culture alive and well, thanks in particular to the work of Francophone teachers who play an essential role when it comes to youth. This is why we are investing more to encourage even more French-speaking teachers to come teach in British Columbia."
—The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages
"French language learning creates lifelong opportunities for students. This joint investment is an important step forward as we work to ensure all students who want and deserve to learn French in B.C. have the opportunity to do so."
—The Honourable Rob Fleming, British Columbia Minister of Education
"Francophones and Francophiles play an important role in our province's rich history, economic growth and cultural diversity. I am proud of our governments' work to increase the number of French-speaking teachers in our province as an effort to continue recognizing and celebrating B.C.'s vibrant Francophone community."
—The Honourable Adrian Dix, British Columbia Minister of Health and Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs
British Columbia's Francophone community is made up of about 64,200 people whose mother tongue is French (about 1.4 percent of the population) and nearly 315,000 Francophiles and people who speak French. Of these, 59 percent were born elsewhere in Canada; 50 percent of the Francophones born abroad are from Europe.
As part of the Action Plan for Official Languages 2018–2023: Investing in Our Future, the Government of Canada is investing more than $62 million over four years to support the recruitment and retention of teachers in Francophone minority schools, as well as French immersion and French as a second language programs.
SOURCE Canadian Heritage
For further information: (media only), please contact: Alexander Cohen, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, 613-404-9121, [email protected]; Media Relations, Canadian Heritage, 819-994-9101, 1-866-569-6155, [email protected]