More students enrolled in French schools
More students are enrolling in French schools for the coming year and that means those schools need more teachers, says the chairman of P.E.I.’s French-language school board.
There will be 940 students attending class at P.E.I.’s six Frenchlanguage schools in the fall, an 8.3 per cent increase from the 868 students enrolled this past year.
If the trend continues, more than 1,000 students will attend the six schools in 2018-19.
“More and more parents are realizing the added value of fluent and durable bilingualism and the importance of being able to communicate in Canada’s two official languages to prepare students to be job-ready after high school,” said Émile Gallant, board chairman for the Commission scolaire de langue française (CSLF).
To accomodate the increase in students, the CSLF says it needs five additional teachers this fall.
The provincial government has committed to two new hires.
“We expected to get five additional teachers previously denied, so we are even more disappointed in getting only two positions in spite of an 8.3 per cent increase,” said Gallant.
“This makes no sense.”
The P.E.I. government has added 25 teachers for English-language schools this coming year, in addition to 28 new teachers in the English system in 2015.
If the board does reach more than 1,000 students, Gallant said, it will be the highest number of students attending French-language schools since the province consolidated schools beginning in the 1950s.
He also noted parents appreciate the strong cultural component in French language education in P.E.I. and the board has been doing more promotion.