B.C. francophone students and students learning French as a second language will soon be able to enhance their learning experience thanks to a new partnership between France and British Columbia.
Three school districts in France will be collaborating with B.C. school districts currently offering francophone or French as a second language programs. This new partnership will benefit both France and British Columbia as they share information and expertise on teaching and learning French, curriculum, assessment, teacher professional development, and teacher training programs. It will also provide opportunities for student and teacher exchanges.
B.C.’s deputy minister of Education Dave Byng and France’s Ministry of National Education, Higher Education and Research representative, Olivier Giron, exchanged copies of the agreement today in a signing ceremony. The agreement was signed in advance by B.C. Minister of Education Mike Bernier and France’s Minister of National Education, Higher Education, and Research Najat Vallaud-Belkacem. Jean-Christophe Fleury, Consul General of France in Vancouver attended the event.
The agreement with France supports B.C.’s International Education Strategy by increasing opportunities for co-operation with foreign government partners to benefit B.C. both economically and educationally.
Over 172,000 K-to-12 students are enrolled in core French courses, over 52,000 K-to-12 students are currently enrolled in French immersion in B.C. and over 5,500 K-to-12 students are currently enrolled in le Conseil scolaire francophone de la Colombie-Britannique (School District 93).
Mike Bernier, Minister of Education –
“When students learn multiple languages they open doors to learning opportunities and experiences throughout the world. This exciting and historic agreement with France will benefit thousands of students and help strengthen Canada's bilingualism.”
The French Ministry of National Education, Higher Education, and Research –
“We’re very pleased to see a new partnership coming together between France and a Canadian province like British Columbia. This comes as further illustration of the new dynamic set in motion during the visit of the President of France to Canada in November 2014. No doubt that all of the exchanges that we will develop under this agreement will be very rewarding for our respective students, teachers, and educational systems.”
- Government launched British Columbia’s International Education Strategy in 2012 to promote the global two-way flow of students, educators and ideas between countries.
- International education is a key sector under the BC Jobs Plan, and British Columbia is making progress toward the goal of a 50% increase in the number of international students by September 2016.
- The French immersion population represents 9.5% of the student population in British Columbia’s public school system.
- B.C. students who graduate from the French immersion program or the francophone program receive two diplomas: the Dogwood Diploma and le diplôme de fin d’études secondaires de la Colombie-Britannique (the French Dogwood).
- Last year, nearly 2,300 students graduated from the French Immersion program in the province.
B.C. government French immersion program: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/education-training/administration/legislation-policy/public-schools/french-immersion-program
BC Jobs Plan, International Education Strategy: www.aved.gov.bc.ca/internationaleducation/welcome.htm
France Ministry of National Education, Higher Education and Research: http://www.education.gouv.fr