Ontario sets up French-language task force

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at ccat.sas.upenn.edu
Wed Mar 15 13:54:03 UTC 2006

Forwarded from edling at ccat.sas.upenn.edu

Tuesday, March 14, 2006  13:44
Province sets up French-language task force

(CNW) The Ontario government is establishing a first-ever, permanent
elementary and secondary French-language education task force that will
address the unique challenges faced by Franco-Ontarian students, Education
Minister Gerard Kennedy said today. "Every Franco-Ontarian student
deserves an equal opportunity for success,"  said Kennedy. "We have
established peace and stability and progress in education. The next step
is to solidify real partnerships, particularly in the Francophone
community, to better retain students and strengthen French culture and
language across the province."

To be chaired by the Minister of Education, the task force will advise the
minister on unique francophone education matters - such as promoting
French culture, reducing assimilation and helping to retain francophone
students. Twenty-two prominent leaders from the French-language education
sector and community will ensure broad representation. In recent years,
assimilation has become a major concern for French-language speakers in
Ontario. The francophone population is growing more slowly than its
anglophone counterpart and more francophones are speaking English at home.
In addition, many students who are new to French-language schools speak
little or no French upon arrival.

"Recruitment, retention and the integration of students in the
French-language environment, the delivery of adequate programs, funding
and management of schools, as well as professional development are all
challenges that our French-language education system must overcome over
the next few years," said Paul Taillefer, chair of the Association des
enseignantes et des enseignants franco-ontariens (AEFO).
"This new task force will allow all components of the French-language
community to work together, with the Minister of Education, to identify
the best solutions to ensure the vitality and sustainability of our
French-language schools."


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