State Minister for Education, Youth and Information, Alando Terrelonge, has welcomed the opportunity for local teachers to be better trained in the delivery of French to their students.
“We recognise that if our youth are truly to move forward… if they are to continue to lead, inspire and transform their world, then they must be able to speak in different languages,” he said.
Terrelonge was speaking at the official launch of ‘Integrate French as a Language of Exchange/Intégrer le Français comme Langue d’Échanges (IFLE) CARICOM Project’ at the French Embassy in St Andrew, recently.
“We cannot speak of a [regional] community of neighbours if there is only one official working language within that community.”— Terrelonge
Jamaica is one of several regional territories to benefit from the project, funded by the Government of France, which aims to bridge communication and bolster derivable benefits between English and French-speaking Caribbean countries through linguistic, cultural and entrepreneurial exchanges.
The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, and Alliance Francaise de la Jamaique, among other stakeholders, will work in tandem with the IFLE Project Team to implement the programme locally.
Among the key target outcomes is the short-listing of at least five pilot schools for programme implementation by mid-2020 and commencement of specialised training for teachers of French.
It is expected that the training of teachers will better equip them to prepare students for programmed piloting of the relevant examinations at the third, fifth and sixth-form levels that will enable the youngsters to, among other things, apply for entry to universities in France.
Terrelonge said that the undertaking is timely and “a move in the right direction if we are to truly develop regional integration”.
“We cannot speak of a [regional] community of neighbours if there is only one official working language within that community… because that values one language above the others… and gives the impression that you are valuing one people, one culture, and one identity above the others,” he argued