The province has reassigned its administrator of French-language education, which has a group of parents and educators worried that there are more cuts to come for Francophone and French immersion schools in Manitoba.
At a news conference on Monday, Partners for French Education claimed that the Bureau de l’éducation française has been gutted.
“The absence of consultation leaves us with the impression of a lack of respect for French minority language students, parents and community partners in Manitoba,” said Brigitte L’Heureux, the executive director of Fédération des parents du Manitoba.
French-language education in Manitoba is run by the Bureau de l’éducation française, a division of Manitoba Education. It develops curriculum for immersion and French schools, provides educational support services, supplies French-language resources to public libraries and does professional development with educators.
There had been an assistant to the deputy minister focused on French education, but that position has been cut, they say, its functions transferred to the former English assistant to the deputy minister, and the staffer reassigned.
The assistant to the deputy minister oversaw the department and “brought issues in French-language education directly to decision-makers in government,” L’Heureux said.
“French-language education is not simply the translation of English education, but a unique educational and cultural experience with a curriculum of its own,” she added.
“A fully functioning Bureau de l’éducation française is essential to the quality of French-language education that Manitoba educators and schools provide to our children.”
The group held a meeting at the end of October after learning the assistant to the deputy minister was reassigned. They sent a letter to Premier Brian Pallister highlighting their concerns about French education in Manitoba, asking for a meeting by Nov. 10.
On Nov. 7, the…