Learn­ing French mat­ters

The Southern Gazette - - EDITORIAL - Mark Browne, MHA Pla­cen­tia West - Belle­vue

I am writ­ing to ex­press my sur­prise and dis­ap­point­ment as news emerged this week of a plan by the NL English School District to can­cel en­roll­ment for the Septem­ber 2018 Kinder­garten French im­mer­sion class at Sa­cred Heart Academy in Marys­town.

The French im­mer­sion pro­gram has ex­isted, and thrived, at Sa­cred Heart Academy since 1985, pro­vid­ing count­less par­ents the op­por­tu­nity to have their chil­dren im­mersed in French. I, my­self, had the great for­tune of be­ing en­rolled in this pro­gram, and know the ben­e­fits of be­ing bilin­gual first-hand.

Marys­town’s French im­mer­sion pro­gram has ex­isted as one of the small num­ber of places to of­fer it as a re­sult of ad­vo­cacy and the long-held com­mu­nity be­lief in the ben­e­fits of learn­ing in both of Canada’s of­fi­cial lan­guages.

As we work hard to at­tract in­dus­try and jobs to our re­gion, from the Grieg Project to the CFI project to the on­set of work at Kiewit again, hav­ing a French im­mer­sion pro­gram in Marys­town has al­ways given the com­mu­nity an ad­van­tage in at­tract­ing prospec­tive work­ers to the area. We can­not af­ford to al­low this to change.

The learn­ing of French mat­ters – strong ad­vo­cates have kept this pro­gram in place and now we must do the same. I have writ­ten lo­cal elected school board trustee, Mr. Corey Par­sons, call­ing on the school board to halt this de­ci­sion un­til a thor­ough and in­clu­sive con­sul­ta­tion with con­cerned mem­bers of the com­mu­nity has oc­curred. I en­cour­age par­ents and lo­cal res­i­dents to do the same.

Marys­town’s French im­mer­sion pro­gram has ex­isted as one of the small num­ber of places to of­fer it as a re­sult of ad­vo­cacy and the longheld com­mu­nity be­lief in the ben­e­fits of learn­ing in both of Canada’s of­fi­cial lan­guages.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.