So the kids arrived home all full of piss and vinegar hell bent on going to French immersion schools. Seems that the school board had sent in the propaganda experts to fill their heads with the joys of learning math, science and social studies in another language. I can imagine the assembly.
“Come to a different school…” they said, “You’ll have so much fun learning about stability, the states of matter and long division in another language.”
“Wow” said the kids.
“Think how amazing it will be to learn about your community (which is predominately Italian and Serbian) in French.” promised the spin doctors.
“Ahhhhhh!” replied the kids.
“Wait. That’s not all… we have clubs at our schools” proselytized the board’s zealots.
“Sign us up.” screamed the kids.
“Go ask your parents, ” was the reply, “and be sure to report them to us if they don’t like the idea. We can re-educate them!”
Ok. Perhaps the last sentence is hyperbole but I can’t even begin to tell you how much I hate the idea of French immersion. Firstly, you should know that in our school board up until next year, the French immersion program is based on entrance essays that are mostly written by over-achieving parents for their kids. Here, now that Gifted Education programs were completely gutted, French Immersion is strictly for the social climbing elite. It’s the new way to show to your neighbours that little Timmy is so smart, much smarter than your kid, that he needs to learn in another language.
Oh, I know how the bullshit goes on and on about opening doors and opportunities, but it is all crap. I’ve known plenty of people who were in French Immersion programs that discovered in high school that a) the world doesn’t care and b) they have no idea what the teachers are talking about in English. (the language that incidentally 99% of them will need to function for their careers – the 1% will go on to become French teachers) Now, don’t get me wrong, teaching French is a noble and important calling, but most kids don’t want to do that and there are only so many teaching jobs anyhow.
So when my kids got home and told me that they felt their current school, 500 meters away from my house; newly built 3 years ago; fully equipped with the newest technology and staffed by some of the finest educators I’ve ever met, was no longer good enough for them. I said “Too bad.”
If the school boards really want to help our kids get careers in the future, then here’s some important facts. China and India are the next biggest consumer markets in the world and they have LOTS of foreign currency. Teach our kids those languages so they can impress their new bosses.