FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government is adopting the Linguistic and Cultural Development Policy – A Societal Project for the French Education System, Education and Early Childhood Minister Marie-Claude Blais announced today.

“The government is pleased with the exemplary co-operation that has developed between the members of the Action Group for the Commission on Francophone Schools, the department, and the hundreds of people who worked on the development of the policy for nearly five years,” Blais said. “By providing a learning environment that enables our children to excel and develop all facets of their identity from an early age, we are creating a solid foundation that will ensure the growth and prosperity of all New Brunswick society."

The policy arises from the recommendations of the report of the Commission on Francophone Schools. The commission's action group, an group of organizations and key partners of the education system, worked to develop the policy and will be responsible for its implementation. It is the result of co-operation and collaboration beween the Acadian and francophone community and the department. More than 200 stakeholders participated in the process.

The policy will be phased in over a period of about 10 years. It is intended as a tool that will enable the Acadian and francophone education system to carry out its dual mission, which is to promote the educational success and identity building of each learner. It will allow all stakeholders in the education system to direct and better target their actions.

“This policy demonstrates our commitment to society with respect to the importance of providing a quality education and promoting the flourishing of the two official linguistic communities of New Brunswick,” Blais said. “In facing the challenges of education in a minority setting and proposing strategies that will be able to meet them, this social blueprint will contribute to the vitality of the language and the thriving of the French-speaking culture. It will also enable young Acadians and francophones to develop their full potential and to be better equipped to be successful on the job market and to participate actively in the social and economic development of their community and province.”

The policy contains 48 strategies divided into five focus areas:

●    vitality of the education system
●    identity building;
●    early childhood;
●    educational success; and
●    school-family-community partnership

“I am proud of the work completed, which has enabled the various partners of the education system to define a collective vision, strategies, and methods that will ensure the sustainability and vitality of the Acadian and francophone community,” said Gérard McKen, president of the Fédération des conseils d'éducation du Nouveau-Brunswick and the co-chair of the action group.  “We have managed to create a collective synergy that will certainly favour the successful implementation of this policy.”

The action group partners are as follows:

●    Association acadienne des artistes professionnel.le.s du Nouveau-Brunswick;
●    Association des directions d'écoles francophones du Nouveau-Brunswick;
●    Association des enseignantes et des enseignants francophones du Nouveau-Brunswick;
●    Association francophone des parents du Nouveau-Brunswick;
●    Conseil pour le développement de l'alphabétisme et des compétences des adultes du Nouveau-Brunswick;
●    Francophone Nord-Est school district;
●    Francophone Nord-Ouest school district;
●    Francophone Sud school district;
●    Fédération des conseils d'éducation du Nouveau-Brunswick;
●    Fédération des jeunes francophones du Nouveau-Brunswick;
●    Department of Education and Early Childhood Development;
●    Société de l'Acadie du Nouveau-Brunswick; and
●    Faculty of Education at the Université de Moncton.

The policy is available online.