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

Woman trapped under car at University Heights

Driver of sedan backs into older adult walking through lot

Residents of tent cities unfairly labeled as criminals, says report

Some neighbours supportive of Regina Park camp

Delivery truck downs power lines in Sidney

A tractor trailer delivering eggs clipped a low-hanging wire on Second St.… Continue reading

Stolen West Shore vehicle found in ocean off Oak Bay

SUV was submerged 90 feet from shore at Cattle Point

Deadly mushroom spotted in Greater Victoria

Early return of death cap mushrooms prompts Island Health warning

Trudeau asks transport minister to tackle Greyhound’s western pullout

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’s asked Transport Minister Marc Garneau to find solutions in Greyhound Canada’s absence.

Group urges Canada to help Holocaust denier on trial in Germany

They’re concerned about Canada’s apparent unwillingness to come to the aid of Monika Schaefer

RCMP seek person of interest after elderly man left with ‘life altering’ injuries

Burnaby RCMP believe a male teen is a ‘person of interest’ in the case

MGM sues Vegas mass shooting victims, argues it isn’t liable

The company argues it has “no liability of any kind” to survivors or families of slain victims

Vancouver police propose policy for victims, witnesses who are undocumented immigrants

If approved, officers will not ask about an immigration status, unless needed

Crashes reach ‘all-time high’ across B.C.: ICBC

Auto insurer recorded more than 350,000 crashes in 2017

Saanich Tigers upset Island rivals, win pee wee provincials

The Saanich Tigers overcame Island rivals to complete a playoff run they’ll… Continue reading

Saanich seeks input on climate change plan

Saanich residents will have a chance to shape the municipality’s new climate… Continue reading

Bicycles for Humanity ships 10th container to Africa

Locals collect 461 bikes for Africa

Most Read