New initiative to be held in francophone high schools (09/11/24)

NB 1870

Nov. 24, 2009

FREDERICTON (CNB) - The organizing and steering committees of Provincial French Pride Week are co-operating with the Association des enseignantes et des enseignants francophones du Nouveau-Brunswick (AEFNB) and the Department of Education to invite high schools to register in the new Tournoi de débats provincial.

Tournoi de débats provincial is a provincial debating tournament that will be held for the first time during the 21st Provincial French Pride Week in March 2010. It is intended for students in grades nine to 12, and is designed to help them develop oratorical skills while debating a topic of interest to young people and New Brunswick residents.

Education Minister Roland Haché said that he is counting on the co-operation of all education partners to stimulate students' and schools' interest in this new activity.

"I invite French language arts and social studies teachers and guidance counsellors to encourage the students at their schools to participate in this new Provincial French Pride Week activity," said Haché. "By working with partners such as the AEFNB to develop this type of initiative we can optimize the potential of our young leaders. The debates will help them hone their critical thinking skills, and argue their convictions and ideas in public with ease."

This initiative meets various educational objectives, including the debating component of the Grade 12 French language arts program, citizen participation in social studies programs, and working with professionals to introduce careers connected with public speaking.

Students will debate the following topic: In your view, was the Equal Opportunity Program introduced in the 1960s by Premier Louis J. Robichaud, and continued into the 1970s by his successor, Richard Hatfield, beneficial to all New Brunswickers?

"Our youth have a lot to say," said Monique Caissie, AEFNB president. "They want to be heard and they want us to listen to them. This tournament will give them an ideal platform because we are asking them not only to discuss a reform that revolutionized the province, but to present arguments for and against it. The young people will be able to identify with one of their own, since the Fédération des jeunes francophones du Nouveau-Brunswick president Alexis Couture has agreed to chair the panel."

The tournament will be held on International Francophonie Day, Saturday, March 20, 2010, at École Polyvalente Louis-Mailloux in Caraquet. Branch 5 of AEFNB is responsible for organizing the event.


MEDIA CONTACTS: Johanne Le Blanc, communications, Department of Education, 506-453-3085; Nicole Dupéré, director of communications, AEFNB, 506- 452-1749 or 506-470-0297.