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Fix Current Concerns Before French Immersion, NBTA Says

By Tara Clow Oct 25, 2022 | 12:43 PM

Connie Keating is president of the New Brunswick Teachers' Association. Image: Submitted

The New Brunswick Teachers’ Association is concerned about the future of French immersion.

Program changes originally planned for 2024 have been moved ahead by a year.

President Connie Keating says the new planned 10-month turnaround is worrisome, “We need the focus to be on addressing the current issues. Schools are already under tremendous strain due to the shortage of qualified teachers and support staff. That means that key support services to students are compromised daily.”

Keating adds that based on a report on second language learning from Commissioners John McLaughlin and Yvette Finn, moving very quickly in contrary to their recommendations.

“Their recommendations were that changes were needed. Based on the pressures that COVID put on the system in particular, we needed to move slowly and steadily toward improvements through a consultative process. The EECD(Education and Early Childhood Development)and the Department of Education noted that their focus was on September 2024 for the beginning of those changes, so moving things to next September is very problematic,” Keating says.

She feels the system is currently strained and they need to be focussing on addressing current issues first.

She adds that discussions surrounding French Immersion open old wounds, “The Auditor General told us four years ago to stop politicizing education and frequent changes to the education system disrupt its stability and takes the focus away from educating students and we really need to ensure that any changes that are put into place are student centred.”


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