A new Manitoba French Language Teacher Recruitment and Retention Strategy launched today responds to increased demand for French language teachers in Manitoba, Manitoba Education and Early Childhood Learning Minister Wayne Ewasko and federal Official Languages Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor announced today.
“The strategy to address the shortage of teachers supports French-language initiatives as an integral part of Manitoba’s education system, and will help ensure these opportunities will continue to be available in our educational communities,” said Ewasko. “Through our government’s collaboration with the federal government and our investments in French-language instruction, we are contributing to the vitality of our francophone community.”
The strategy has four areas of focus including:
- encouraging more people, especially high school students, to choose a career teaching in French (first and second language);
- adding to the current university training offer for teaching in French (first and second language);
- creating equitable recruitment, hiring and certification practices that respond to the realities of varied candidates including those arriving through immigration; and
- establishing orientation and support programs for all teachers including those at the beginning of their career and for teachers at various career stages.
“The Manitoba government’s commitment to French-language services remains strong and the education sector is key to building vibrant francophone communities,” said Families Minister Rochelle Squires, minister responsible for francophone affairs. “Access to Français and French immersion education helps students prepare for success in the future, and the strategy will support that important work.”
The strategy will provide a framework to co-ordinate numerous initiatives intended to increase the supply of French-language teachers in Manitoba. Stakeholder engagement sessions have shown there are many shared priorities across the system, Ewasko noted, and the strategy includes a detailed implementation plan that outlines specific ways in which the Manitoba government, sector partners and stakeholders can move to act together.
“The lack of French-language teachers is a real challenge, which is why this strategy released by the government about recruitment and retention is good news for the DSFM,” said Alain Laberge, superintendent, Division scolaire franco-manitobaine.
In addition to the new French Language Teacher Recruitment and Retention Strategy, the governments of Canada and Manitoba continue to provide ongoing support for French-language education through the French Second Language Revitalization Program and the Program for the Enrichment of French in Education. These annual grant programs will provide up to $2.8 million to support French first-language and French second-language projects and initiatives across Manitoba.
“Investing in the future of French-language education in Manitoba is a testament to our government’s unwavering support,” said Petitpas Taylor. “Through our commitments to French teacher recruitment and retention, we are forging a path of linguistic inclusivity and cultural enrichment. We will continue to empower generations to embrace the beauty and diversity of the French language, ensuring a brighter future for all Manitobans.”
Today’s announcement complements the Manitoba government’s recently updated French Immersion Program policy, a key initiative of Manitoba’s K to 12 Education Action Plan, Ewasko noted. The French immersion program policy sets out a series of administrative policies and concrete, actionable steps schools can utilize to fully implement the French immersion program.
For more information about the strategy, visit https://www.edu.gov.mb.ca/k12/action_plan/excellence/workforce_planning.html.
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