Editorial short on facts

You wrote French immersion is “one tiny element of the public education system.” Well, if it is it shouldn’t be.

Re: “Right and wrong,” June 29

You wrote French immersion is “one tiny element of the public education system.” Well, if it is it shouldn’t be.

Increasingly French is demanded as a requirement in public service jobs, for a university education, and why? Because the federal government has sagaciously decided to re-address the imbalance that has long existed between Canada’s two official languages, and it has decided that the most effective way to achieve this aim is through an increase in French immersion programs.

We live in a bilingual country and according to provincial policy, a bilingual education through French immersion programs should be made available where demand requires it. Well, demand has required it here in School District 8, an increased demand that is reflected nationwide.

You suggest the school board should think in “broader terms.” Well, to ignore the fact that we are a bilingual country is not thinking in broader terms, and actually portrays a rather insular view of the world outside of School District 8.

You suggest that “money is tight.” Yes it is, which is why French immersion is a good idea. The school not only receives regular funds for French immersion students, but extra federal funding too.

You suggest money should not be spent on an independent review of the way in which parents were shut out of the decision making process, and that since money is tight “it’s not fair that 30 families impact a budget.”

It wasn’t and isn’t just about 30 families who are affected by the lack of communication between a board, school district employees and parents. The reasoning behind the independent review was to work toward a better relationship between all parents and the school district.

All parents need to feel they are being heard by the managers of our children’s education, an education that we pay for through our taxes, and an education that seems to be increasingly out of our hands.

Francesca Blishen

Parent representative to the SD8 French Advisory Council and member of Trafalgar PAC

 

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