Now that the consultation sessions on the proposed abolishment of French Immersion have ended, the Official Opposition is insisting the Higgs Government reverse its decision and reopen French Immersion registration for the 2023-24 school year and table a plan to properly resource the education system.
“Over the past few weeks, we have heard from hundreds if not thousands of teachers, experts, parents and concerned New Brunswickers and the message is clear: don’t go ahead with this one-size-fits-no-one model” says Official Opposition critic for Education and Early Childhood Development, Francine Landry. “We had Liberal caucus members at every consultation, and we heard first-hand how passionately people feel about French Immersion, and about keeping the ability to choose what’s right for learners. The Official Opposition will bring this clear message to the Legislature with a motion calling for the halt of these plans to abolish French Immersion, to re-open enrolment for 2023 registration and to table a plan to properly resource the education system.
Despite the government’s attempt to tout these sessions as consultations, many speakers expressed doubt about the validity of the process as it was done after the government announced their intentions, included a survey that has been called biased, and closed registration for French Immersion for the 2023-24 school year.
“There should be no doubt in the minds of Premier Higgs and Minister Hogan after these consultations. The public has spoken and it’s time for them to listen” says Francine Landry. “The 50/50 model as a solution to the lack of resources to support core program learners is misguided. There isn’t enough time to develop the curriculum and there aren’t enough teachers to teach it! If this was truly a real consultation process, we should soon be hearing from the government that they are not moving forward with this plan.”