Francophone Enrollment in English Cegeps on the Rise – But for How Long?
Francophone Enrollment in English Cegeps on the Rise – Less than a year after he took over leadership of the Parti Québécois from Pierre-Karl Péladeau, Jean-François Lisée survived a confidence vote at the party’s first policy convention this weekend – and during the convention one of the motions up for debate was a resolution to cut funding to English Cegeps.
The debate started before the leadership convention, due to government statistics showing the percentage of French students enrolling in English Cegeps had doubled from 5% in 1993 to 10% in 2015.
In fact, total enrollment in the province at English Cegeps is at 19% while the English community makes up only 8% of the population. It is not just Francophones making up the difference – half of the enrollment in English Cegeps are not native Anglophones.
Lisée recently told reporters that ‘Anglophone Cegeps shouldn’t be an open bar’, although it is unclear whether he fully supports what he declared or it was said to quiet down the party’s hardliners before the confidence vote.
Many young Francophones who love Quebec and fully identify with its language and culture, are increasingly seeing things on a different scale. They want to be able to better incorporate the reality of the English language towards business and competing in the real world – the global world. It is also become a way for them to get the most out of travelling and experiencing other cultures, and why many have been opting to attend English language schools for their post-secondary education.
Lisée believes French Cegeps should instead offer better English instruction so that francophone and allophone students will not opt for attending English institutions.
If the motion passes and the PQ wins the next election in the autumn of 2018, limiting access to English-language education to Francophones could very well be a campaign promise they keep.
Do you think it’s time for the PQ to back down and accept the new reality, allowing Francophone students to make their own decisions?