WHITEHORSE – Today during budget debate it was revealed that the Liberal Government held a lottery on February 18, 2019 for enrollment in the French immersion program for the coming school year. As a result of this, 11 families were unable to participate in French immersion.
In response to growing interest in the program, the previous government introduced French immersion at a second Whitehorse-area school — Selkirk Elementary.
Despite even more demand in recent years, this Liberal government has so far refused to expand the program to any other schools.
“It’s an unfortunate approach for the Minister to essentially make families enter a raffle when trying to determine the education for their children,” said Scott Kent Official Opposition Critic for Education. “Despite what the Minister might say, there are more effective solutions that will ensure all interested students can access this learning opportunity.”
Last year, the Minister told Yukoners that there were over 700 available spaces for students in Whitehorse elementary schools. The Minister also confirmed today that Yukon has no major problems with the recruitment and retention of French immersion teachers.
“As it’s clear that space and attracting qualified teachers are not barriers, the Minister has the power to ensure that all Yukon families interested in French immersion can be included,” added Kent. “Budgeting is about priorities, and clearly ensuring that Yukon students have access to quality educational opportunities in French is not a priority for the Liberals.”