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Education Minister Bill Hogan speaks during a news conference in December 2022. Image: YouTube screen capture

N.B. Scraps Changes To French Language Learning

By Allan Dearing Feb 17, 2023 | 1:38 PM

The French immersion program will continue in New Brunswick after all.

The Department of Education announced on Friday that the proposed 50/50 French language learning framework will not be implemented and French immersion registration will be open for Grade 1 students.

“We listened intently to the voices of nearly 13,000 New Brunswickers who participated in our consultation sessions over the past month,” said Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Bill Hogan.

“We have taken all we have heard and incorporated it into our decision.”

A series of recent public meetings in cities across the province often became heated with many parents and educators urging the education minister to reconsider making changes to French language learning.

The department noted a summary of results from those consultations will be released in early spring.

“At the same time, we know more schools need to offer more in-depth French language instruction, have better French outcomes, and improvements are needed in English Prime classrooms,” said Hogan.

Provincial Liberal leader Susan Holt expressed her relief by the education minister’s decision.

“The silver lining is that it shows the power of passionate New Brunswickers when they speak up, write letters, use their voices, send tweets and show up,” said Holt.

“I’m relieved that Minister Hogan and his team reconsidered this and changed course. I know that couldn’t have been easy.”

The province plans to establish a stakeholder group and will involve the New Brunswick Teachers’ Association, experts within the education system, and parents to inform the development of next steps.

“The system as it currently stands, is leaving a large portion of children behind and we are committed to addressing the issues causing this,” said Hogan.

“We want all high school graduates to be equipped with the skills they need to thrive in life so that no child is left behind. This is not the end, but the beginning of what will be positive and lasting change.”


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