A change by the Liberal government will make it harder for graduates to get certified in their field. Offsetting the costs of COVID-19 should not come at the expense of students' academic achievements.
Progressive Conservative Education Critic Tim Halman recently learned that as a result of COVID-19, students seeking to write the exam used to certify their French language proficiency will have to pay out of pocket to take the test later this summer.
“It is amazing what the McNeil Liberals will cut when they think no one will notice,” says Halman. “It is important that the public education system offers every student enrolled in a French second language program the opportunity to take this exam, not just the ones who can afford to pay for it.”
The DELF (Diplôme d’etudes en langue française) is a diploma issued by the French Ministry for National Education to certify the French language skills. Many students use their certificate to demonstrate their bilingual abilities to employers and post-secondary institutions. The cost of taking the assessment was not passed on to students, until COVID-19 cancelled many scheduled assessments for the remainder of the school year.
The cost of the program is $125 for the intermediate certification and $195 for the advanced certification.
“Bilingualism opens the door to many opportunities. And for many parents, French immersion is important to preserving their children’s French heritage,” says Colton LeBlanc, PC Critic for Acadian Affairs and La Francophonie. “It is disappointing to see the government put up barriers for students to certify their French language achievements.”
Halman hopes that the Department of Education will reverse this decision and ensure that all students who intended to take the DELF assessment during this unprecedented school year will not face unexpected costs.
“I’m calling on the government to do the right thing and ensure that the cost of the DELF assessment is not put on the students,” says Halman. “Nova Scotians should not face economic barriers to learn or certify their French language skills and we should not let COVID-19 change that.”