More on Mandarin in BC
Back to school, plenty of change
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Published: September 07, 2010 2:00 PM
Updated: September 07, 2010 3:03 PM
It’s back to school for 30,000 students in School District 43 but more than 1,000 kindergarten kids will simply be meeting their teachers and checking out their classrooms during welcome interviews set to take place this week.
On Tuesday, 20 kindergarten students experienced their first taste of school life under the glare of the media spotlight and got to sit cross-legged on the floor with B.C.’s education minister, Margaret MacDiarmid.
The minister was in the Tri-Cities to highlight the province’s $280-million commitment to implementing full-day kindergarten for all five-year-olds in B.C. as well as a $144.5-million investment in new classroom space for these students.
She visited Coquitlam’s Walton elementary school, which is also the site of B.C.’s first bilingual Mandarin program, and congratulated the district in meeting the demand for the popular language program.
“I think it’s a program that’s appropriate for B.C. We have such close ties [to Asia] with our education and it’s one of the most important languages to have,” MacDiarmid told The Tri-City News.
She said she wouldn’t be surprised if other school boards introduced Mandarin immersion, with the only issue being finding enough Mandarin-speaking teachers familiar with the B.C. kindergarten curriculum.
Although the province is rolling out full-day kindergarten for all students in 2010 and 2011, MacDiarmid said there are no plans to change the current curriculum for the longer day.
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