Ontario’s francophone school system has for several years faced a shortage of teachers. A summit on the subject of this shortage took place on 16 May 2019 at the University of Ottawa. The summit brought together the main stakeholders of the francophone school system to review the situation and to establish possible solutions. Around 30 people took part, representing 15 organizations from the sector.
As the instigator of the summit, the Faculty of Education of the University of Ottawa seeks to support ongoing collaboration to tackle this challenge. During the summit, participants shared different problems resulting from the shortage, including the lack of qualified teachers, as well as the stress placed on existing staff, all in a context of increasing enrolments in francophone schools. The participants agreed that this multi-layered crisis threatens the quality of education throughout the francophone school system.
Time was also devoted to identifying possible ways forward to ensure, among other things, enhanced promotion of the teaching profession, improved recruitment to initial teacher education programs, more valued programs, the promotion of intercultural dialogue, and a more respected and valued teaching profession.
At the end of the summit, Richard Barwell, Dean of the Faculty of Education noted, “We are agreed – it is urgent to act and to put in place solutions, as well as the financial investment required – an investment in the economy of the province,” and he committed the University of Ottawa to ensuring follow-through on the recommendations arising from the summit.
Check out photos of the Summit on Facebook.