Education Minister Rob Fleming. (Hansard TV)

Education minister off to Europe to recruit French teachers

France, Netherlands, Belgium stops to sign exchange agreements

Education Minister Rob Fleming is leading a recruiting trip to Europe next week to deal with a shortage of French teachers in B.C. schools.

The province is spending $40,000 to send a group including Fleming and deputy minister Scott MacDonald on a trip to France, Belgium and the Netherlands April 3-6. Vancouver School Board superintendent Suzanne Hoffman and B.C. Teachers’ Federation president Glen Hansman are also going, with their organizations paying their expenses, the ministry said in a statement.

Fleming intends to sign government-to-government agreements in France and Belgium to promote teacher and student exchanges.

High demand for French immersion has contributed to a shortage of French teachers across Canada, said Glyn Lewis, B.C. executive director of Canadian Parents for French.

There are currently more than 53,000 students enrolled in French immersion in B.C., about 10 per cent of the student population. The programs have a 96 per cent graduation rate, ministry statistics show.

B.C. schools have been on a recruiting drive for teachers in general, to hire 3,500 additional teachers to meet the terms of a 2017 Supreme Court of Canada ruling on class size formulas.

Earlier this year, Fleming announced funding for an additional 100 teacher training spaces for the highest-demand fields, including special education, math, physics and French.

Just Posted

Fatal railway crossing accident in Chilliwack highlights risks for people in wheelchairs: TSB report

Transportation Safety Board points to ‘persistent risks faced by persons using assistive devices’

Indie rock meets classic rock for Mudsharks 3 concert in Chilliwack

The local band will be playing both original hits and cover songs at free concert at Corky’s

Molson-Coors to honour Sto:lo culture and history at Chilliwack brewery

Artist proposals sought by July 30 to design and install a commemorative piece

Tractor exhaust pipe causes fire on Agassiz field

Agassiz fire crews were on scene around 1 p.m. Tuesday

Yale man arrested after fleeing police in downtown Hope

Man arrested on three outstanding warrants after being caught in stolen van

VIDEO: Missing teens named as suspects in three northern B.C. killings

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky are wanted in the deaths of Lucas Fowler, Chynna Deese, unknown man

B.C. wine industry legend Harry McWatters dies

Among his accomplishments, McWatters founded the province’s first estate winery, Sumac Ridge Estate

Provincial health body refuses to release full findings of cancer triage system audit

Information and Privacy Commissioner asked to review redactions

Southern resident killer whale died of blunt trauma, likely from ship

J34 was found more than two years ago near Sechelt, but the necropsy findings have now been released

B.C. teens wanted in double homicide, suspicious death spotted in Manitoba

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky were thought to have been seen in the Gillam area

VIDEO: Man found dead near B.C. teens’ truck could be linked to a double homicide

RCMP said they are looking for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, of Port Alberni

VIDEO: Young couple found dead in northern B.C. had been shot, police say

Chynna Noelle Deese of the U.S. and Lucas Robertson Fowler of Australia were found along Highway 97

Wrestling legend finds his wedding dance groove in B.C.

Professional wrestler Chris Jericho posted on social media that he was in Penticton recently

Vancouver Public Library banned from Pride parade after allowing controversial speaker

Vancouver Public Library allowed Meghan Murphy to book space for an event at the library in January

Most Read