FREDERICTON (GNB) – The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development will maintain the Grade 1 French immersion entry point in September 2019. The government is announcing a broader education review, including a plan to deliver high-quality French second-language programming within the context of a world-class education system.

“Through our consultations over the last several months, we have learned that the challenges with the education system go beyond the entry point, and exist throughout the entire system,” said Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Dominic Cardy. “The current system is failing to graduate bilingual students. A change in the entry point at this time would only address one small part of a larger challenge facing our education system. Only 162 students, or 10 per cent, who entered early immersion in 2005 achieved the goal of advanced or above by the end of Grade 12 in 2017. By way of comparison, 71 per cent of francophone students who graduated in 2013 were bilingual. This was the last time such information was gathered.”

This fall, the provincial government will host a summit to solicit further input and ideas on how best to transform the overall education system so that it prepares young people to meet the challenges of the rapidly changing global community. This summit will be the first of its kind and will bring together some of the best educational experts, both French and English, from within the provincial system and around the world. The province’s francophone and anglophone systems are joining forces to host the summit and learn from each other. The summit will be preceded by the release of a green paper on education, and the public will be invited to give input on all aspects of the education system and challenges affecting the classroom. These challenges include classroom composition, student engagement and graduating future-ready learners. It is important to hear the voices of parents, teachers, administrators, students, community leaders and concerned citizens, said Cardy.

“New Brunswickers told us they want the government to focus on how we can build a world-class education system,” said Cardy. “Our goal is to be top ten in the Program for International Student Assessment rankings in reading, math and science. We need to give teachers the opportunity to be engaged and have the ability to reach their students if we are going to reach our goals.

“We are committed to an education system that is fair for all, world-class, and prepares our students for success.”