A new French service unit in the Ministry of Education this autumn

The new unit will focus on community relations, problem management, and translation services for the ministrysays Minister spokeswoman Katherine Stavropoulos.

It will also have a dozen employees, including a director. This represents a significant reduction in the number of employees.

In 2017, when it was dissolved, the French Department of Education had about forty. They were later distributed within the Ministry of Education, but this led to a reduction in their influence and a loss of knowledge, according to the French-speaking community.

Minister Adriana LaGrange refuses to indicate at the moment whether the number of francophones in the Ministry of Education will increase due to this restructuring. He says his ministry is still working on the details.

Adriana LaGrange believes that the employees of the new unit will be able to do as much work as their predecessors, but of higher quality.

We will continue to have the same French-speaking people working elsewhere in the department. We want a concerted effort, but also to maintain this francophone link with the other branches of the ministry.she explains.

Less resources and influence for francophones

The Federation of Francophone School Boards in Alberta is pleased that the department has listened to their requests, but remains cautious. They should consult us for the continuation of things. It should be noted that it is not the DEF that is being re-established, but a new service sector in French that will be different in its form and will have different competencies from those that the DEF had.writes the director of the Alberta Federation of Francophone School BoardsAnne-Marie Boucher.

Cindie LeBlanc, former director general of the Alberta government’s Francophone Secretariat, believes the details revealed by the ministry suggest a new structure with fewer resources and influence than the previous one.

For example, he points out that the director of the new French service unit will be less senior than his predecessor. It will depend on the Director of Community Relations of the Department of Education, while previously the Director of the Department of Education of France informed the Deputy Minister of Education of the Department of Education, a higher hierarchical position in the civil service. This is a big step backwards.Judge Cindie LeBlanc.

He believes that it may be positive to retain francophones elsewhere in the department, in addition to having a centralized unit, but it would be preferable to hire new francophone employees.

A different mission

She is also concerned about the change in mission suggested by the ministry for her new unit. According to her, there is less emphasis on experience in French-speaking education.

band-aid“,”text”:”[L’accent mis sur] la traduction, ça me préoccupe un peu plus. C’est loin d’être le développement simultané de programmes et de matériel. C’est une solution band-aid”}}”>[L’accent mis sur] the translation worries me a little more. It is far from the simultaneous development of programs and hardware. It is a solution strip [temporaire]she believes.

Cindie LeBlanc believes the department needs proactive Francophone unity to meet its constitutional education obligations to the community.

We have a historic deficit in both our infrastructure and our workforce. The ministry is one of the key partners in helping us as a community to restore this historic deficit. »

A quote from Cindie LeBlanc, former director of the Francophone Secretariat in Alberta

The spokesman for the Ministry of Education responded that despite the dissolution of the Direction de l’éducation française in 2017, the ministry has maintained its experience in French-speaking education. The new structure will be hybrid.

Instead of recreating the French branch of education exactly as before, the intention of the new delegation of French-language services is to facilitate the access of French-speakers to the Department of Education by offering them a dedicated access point, while coordinating better the dissemination of information in French of the departmentwrites Katherine Stravopoulos.

The New Democratic Party says that if he is elected next year, he will return a loud voice to francophones, but he acknowledges that he has the job done for him. We are proud to build new schools and to have French-speaking experts in our decision-making process. We have heard the message that francophones want a specific francophone secretariat [au sein du ministère de l’Éducation] and that it has enough resources. I am confident that we will be able to regain his trust, a trust that has only deteriorated under Adriana LaGrange and the current government.says its Education spokeswoman Sarah Hoffman.

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