Edmonton – May 10, 2021 – Canadian Parents for French Alberta (CPF Alberta) is calling on the Government of Alberta to provide real opportunities for parents and the public to openly and actively participate in the virtual sessions being hosted by Alberta Education staff in regards to the draft K-6 curriculum.
Last week, CPF Alberta and parents across the province had the opportunity to attend three of these virtual sessions. Immediately following these sessions, we received feedback from a variety of participants stating their dissatisfaction with the entire process. “Our staff informed us that they not only heard about, but witnessed first-hand, the fashion in which Alberta Education ensured that they totally maintained control over the narrative that was being unrolled around the draft K-6 curriculum,” stated Victoria Wishart, President of CPF Alberta. She goes onto to state that “CPF Alberta witnessed that participants were not permitted to see how many participants were in the session, what questions were being asked or even what questions were being selected for response! The session moderator verbalized the questions and each of the two co-presenters took turns answering the questions by obviously reading pre-written responses verbatim off their computer screens.” During the French session on May 6, there was only one (1) question responded to that directly addressed issues raised by both the Francophone and French second language communities. This was very much an opportunity lost. Participants left the sessions with unanswered questions. “I didn’t participate in an online opportunity to provide feedback, I watched a webinar with pre-screened questions. I was really disappointed.” a CPF member parent commented. The Government of Alberta must work with parents and the public to ensure that there are open and honest opportunities to hear the many different voices and opinions around this draft K-6 curriculum. This is the curriculum for our children in our schools.
As of the 2019/2020 school year, 46, 636 Alberta students were in French immersion, or 6.3% of the total student population. French second language programs in Alberta have 147, 766 students, or 19.9% of the total student population.
Canadian Parents for French is the national network of volunteers which values French as an integral part of Canada and which is dedicated to the promotion and creation of French-second-language learning opportunities for young Canadians.
Michael Tryon, Executive Director/Directeur Général, Canadian Parents for French
Alberta & NWT Branches