By Kevin Woodhouse
Recently, an American expatriate made the news when, as a qualified nurse, he kept getting stymied by the written French requirement in order to secure employment in Quebec.
Since the test is not used as a teaching tool, once a certain number of errors are accrued, the subject fails the exam and must re-take it. In order to get a job to feed his family, the nurse went back to high school, attained his diploma and had the French equivalency necessary to achieve employment.
“We do not see ourselves as a loophole but we do recognize the frustration by the test takers,” Véronique Marin, director at the Lester B. Pearson School Board’s Adult Education and Vocational Training department, told The Suburban.
When asked if students enlist into the board’s two adult ed centres to circumnavigate the French exam required by the health and other industries, Marin said that over the years “we have received many students because of the demand to improve their French and get a job in Quebec. This has been around for a long time.”
Marin explained that many of the 2,000-3,000 Adult Education students who take classes every year are often immigrants or Canadians moving from out of province.
Every new student is assessed by a guidance counselor or other educational professional in order to gauge their strengths for placement. Sessions can be as little as eight weeks or an entire 16-week semester.
Some students return as adults after dropping out of high school years earlier. Once the student has passed the Grade 11 English and Grade 11 French as a second language, a diploma is awarded.
“We’re not here to undermine any other institution’s practices but Adult Education is a great way for people to get their high school diploma so that they can move forward in their careers,” said Marin.
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