The Lester B. Pearson School board will be closing Lakeside Academy and merging nine other schools into four. This being the inevitable solution to dwindling enrolment at the school board. We all know that this is largely due to Bill 101. However, I will argue that the English community in Quebec is also to blame for this sad state of affairs.
Fact: The English school boards across Quebec have tested higher when compared to their French counterparts.
Fact: Most students coming out of a bilingual education test better in French than students that attend French schools.
Graduation Rates in Quebec (2012) 75%
Graduation Rates at English School boards (2012) 80%
Graduation rates at French School boards (2012) 70%
These numbers don’t lie.
Despite the previously mentioned facts, many parents are choosing to enrol their children in French schools. (Even though they have the choice to enroll them in English or French) The consensus is that most parents want their children to be fluent in French to facilitate their chances of having great careers in Quebec. I can appreciate this being a parent myself but I see the product of a bilingual education on a daily basis. My son is six years old and is 100% bilingual. In fact, he can probably speak better French than most adults.
The misconception that our children can’t excel in French by attending a bilingual school needs to stop. Where this misconception came from continues to baffle English school board officals. It is not warranted and is destroying the English community within Quebec.
Quebec Anglophones, wake up before it’s too late ! It is our responsiblity to enrol our children in English schools. It is our responsibility to make sure our children continue to flourish as bilingual citizens. If we fail to do so, I am afraid of the consequences. We were all given the right and unbelievable advantage to attend whatever school we wanted. Let’s make sure that our children keep the same right, and the generations that will follow them.
All I ask is that you give this decision the utmost respect and importance that it deserves. Our language and along with it our culture is at serious risk.