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

After several storms, Haida Gwaii looks set for Christmas calm

The coast is finally clear and the ferries underway. After a major… Continue reading

Rainbow Wharf closed to industry, pending repairs

It’s still good for watching sunsets, but for now Port Clements really… Continue reading

On the Wing: Of treaties, feathers and shorebirds

By Margo Hearne It’s a blustery morning. The Green-winged Teal, which returned… Continue reading

Haida Gwaii cleaning up after tree-toppling storm

Crews working to restore power to Queen Charlotte, Skidegate, Tlell, Port Clements, and Tow Hill

In Pictures: Masset Christmas concert stocks lots of laughs

Masset’s community Christmas concert knocked everyone’s yellow socks off last Friday night.… Continue reading

Story of the Year: Deadly Humboldt Broncos bus crash

The Canadian Press annual survey of newsrooms across the country saw 53 out of 129 editors cast their votes for the Humboldt Broncos bus crash.

Trump signs order to create US Space Command

President Donald Trump signs an executive order to create a U.S. Space Command.

Groups preparing new pipeline legal challenge, argue government’s mind made up

A Vancouver-based environment charity is readying itself to go back to court if the federal government reapproves the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Notorious Toronto triple killer gets third consecutive life sentence

Dellen Millard gets third consecutive life sentence for father’s death.

‘Subdued’ housing market predicted in B.C. through 2021: report

The Central 1 Credit Union report predicts “rising but subdued sales” over the next three years, with little movement in median home prices.

A journey through 2018’s top pop culture moments

Was there any pop culture this year? Of course there was.

‘A stronger Alberta:’ Ottawa announces $1.6B for Canada’s oil and gas sector

Price of Alberta oil plummeted so low that Alberta’s Premier said Canada was practically giving it away

Wicked weather, including heavy snow, rainfall, hammers southern B.C.

Environment Canada has posted winter storm warnings for the Coquihalla Highway, Highway 3

Caretaker jailed, must pay back money after stealing $260K from elderly B.C. couple

Antonette Dizon, now 50, had been hired to provide extra care for Henry and Helen Abfalter

Most Read