The governments of Canada and Manitoba are investing $2.8 million in 143 grants to support French-language programming in Manitoba schools, Education and Early Childhood Learning Minister Wayne Ewasko and Families Minister Rochelle Squires, minister responsible for francophone affairs, announced today.
“French-language instruction is an integral part of Manitoba’s education system and key to the vitality of our francophone community,” said Ewasko. “Through our government’s investment and the collaborative efforts of the federal government, these grants will ensure that many quality French-language initiatives will continue to be carried out in our educational communities.”
“Our government knows that access to Français and French immersion education enriches the lives of students and helps prepare them for success in the future,” said Squires. “Manitoba’s commitment to French language education is stronger than ever, and the work being done in the education sector is key to ensuring a vibrant francophone community in our province in the years ahead.”
For the 2022-23 school year, the government will award 93 grants through the French Second Language Revitalization Program, which provides financial support for projects that:
- ensure the full implementation of the French Immersion program and the successful delivery of French courses; and
- enhance the linguistic and cultural identity of students.
An additional 50 grants will be awarded through the Program for the Enrichment of French in Education (PEFE), which provides financial support for school-based, extra-curricular and post-secondary projects that:
- enhance and promote learning of the French language;
- provide opportunities to discover francophone culture; and
- recruit and retain students in the French and French Immersion programs and in French language courses.
“The outdoor classroom at the DSFM Centre scolaire Léo-Rémillard, like our other outdoor initiatives, will allow us to offer our community a special learning space that brings nature and school together,” said Karine Pilotte, directrice adjointe, Division scolaire franco-manitobaine. “It will also be an important gathering place for the francophone community since it will serve as a space for cultural transmission while providing opportunities for students to act positively on their environment and their well-being.”
These grants are funded under the terms of the Canada-Manitoba Agreement on Minority-Language Education and Second-Language Instruction, Ewasko noted.
Applications for funding under the two programs are evaluated by a team of curriculum consultants in the Bureau de l’éducation française to ensure the projects meet education requirements and advance the objectives of the programs. A call for applications for next year will be shared with school divisions and other stakeholders later this fall.
The ministers noted the investments announced today build on other priorities to strengthen French-language education in Manitoba including:
- a federal funding increase of more than $6.2 million over two years as part of the Canada-Manitoba Agreement on Minority-Language Education and Second Official-Language Instruction to allow the province to work with school boards to increase resources for educators so students can thrive and have access to more opportunities to learn in French;
- renewal of the French Immersion policy (last updated in 2008) to support the full implementation of the French Immersion program in kindergarten to Grade 12 schools; and
- creation of a comprehensive and co-ordinated strategy to address the shortage of French language teachers, including an emphasis on career development to encourage Français and French immersion students to become teachers with an overall focus on recruitment and retention.
For more information about French-language education in Manitoba, visit: https://www.edu.gov.mb.ca/m12/polapp/direction.html.
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