PEI

French school board looks to Quebec, N.B. to fill 'increasing need' for teachers

The widening gap between the number of teachers retiring and students graduating from education programs across Canada has officials from P.E.I.'s French Language School Board concerned over finding teachers.

'If we are not there ahead of the game we risk losing out later on'

'The majority, we know, want to stay in the province they were born and raised ... but we also know there are the five or 10 per cent who want to teach elsewhere' says Daniel Bourgeois, (Photographee.eu/Shutterstock)

The widening gap between the number of teachers retiring and students graduating from education programs across Canada has officials from P.E.I.'s French Language School Board concerned over finding teachers. 

Over the last several years, the board has launched a recruitment campaign on the Island as well as in New Brunswick and Quebec to obtain French teachers. 

"Both for immersion programs and French-first language mother-tongue schools throughout Canada, there is an increasing need — an increasing gap between the number of positions that are available and those who are filling them," said Daniel Bourgeois, director of communications and community and cultural affairs for the school board.   

"If we are not there ahead of the game we risk losing out later on."

Increasing competition 

Between three and four new teachers are needed each school year, Bourgeois said, which can be a challenge due to increasing competition to obtain French-speaking teachers.

The school board is in competition with other schools and school districts including the Public Schools Branch on P.E.I., which also recruits for immersion teachers.

French Language School Board officials have already been to Université de Moncton as part of their recruitment process and will head to Université du Québec later in February. 

There is … an increasing gap between the number of positions that are available and those who are filling them.— Daniel Bourgeois

"The majority, we know, want to stay in the province they were born and raised ... but we also know there are the five or 10 per cent who want to teach elsewhere — who want to explore the world," said Bourgeois.

"Those are the ones who would be more interested in dropping-off their resumes so we know from the beginning we have a better chance of landing them."

Recruitment efforts on P.E.I. 

The board's recruitment efforts are also targeting graduates of the bachelor of education program at UPEI. 

Students who are from the Island may have more of an incentive to remain in the province to pursue teaching, Bourgeois said. 

More P.E.I. news

With files from Angela Walker

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