Francophone students at every French-language high school across the province will soon have a greater ability to customize their education with more courses to meet their interests and career goals, announced Education Minister Gerard Kennedy today.
“We are transforming our high schools to offer our francophone students the kind of programs that are relevant to them and keep them engaged in French-language education.”
“Francophone students deserve the same opportunities as their English- language counterparts. There’s more at stake than ever before for our francophone students to get a high school education that is high quality, meaningful and prepares them for a variety of postsecondary destinations.”
This announcement supports the government’s AmÃ©nagement linguistique policy to reduce assimilation and retain francophone students in French- language education, and the Student Success Strategy to modernize high schools and increase graduation rates through a range of new courses, high skills major, expanded co-ops, innovative lighthouse programs and upgraded technical education facilities.
As part of the announcement, $6.5 million will be allocated to help French-language boards provide secondary schools with more staff to offer a broader range of courses and help francophone students make the transition from French-language elementary to French-language secondary schools.
The government recognizes that English-language secondary schools are able to offer a wider variety of courses compared to French-language secondary schools.
This investment will allow each French-language secondary school to offer up to 6 new courses. Across the province, up to 500 new course credits will be offered in French-language secondary schools.
“Giving our francophone youth access to a wide range of learning choices in our secondary schools is critical for their success and key to showing the added value of French-language education in a globalized world,” said Madeleine Meilleur, Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs.
“The strength and the quality of our French-language high schools are vital for the future of the francophone community and for its ongoing contribution to Ontario’s growth,” added Jean-Marc Lalonde, MPP for Glengarry- Prescott-Russell.
“We welcome today’s announcement with enthusiasm,” said Joseph Bisnaire chair, Association franco-ontarienne des conseils scolaires catholiques.
“This additional funding will increase the capacity of our French- language catholic school boards to offer a high quality education for their secondary students.”
This investment means an additional teacher’s salary for each of the province’s French-language secondary schools and an additional base amount of $84,804 for each French-language school board.
Providing francophone students with access to a wider range of courses could better engage, motivate and retain those students, instead of losing them to English-language high schools.
The $6.5 million investment is part of the $20 million enhancement to the Actualisation linguistique en franÃ§ais (ALF) allocation, announced last spring. The remaining $13.5 million was invested to implement other ALF programs, including learning resources, teacher salaries and support for students.
“We are pleased about today’s announcement which will enhance educational services for students attending French-language public secondary schools,” said Ronald Marion, chair, ACEPO.