Advocates appeal to keep Filipino bilingual program from folding

Supporters of the first Filipino bilingual program in Canada are hoping it doesn’t have to fold.

For the program to continue this September, it needs at least 20 students in Kindergarten and Grade 1, and another 20 students in Grades 2 and 3.

The numbers have fallen short.

Educators and community members, like Cory Juan and Ivy Lopez-Sarmiento, are pushing to increase registrations before the end of summer.

“We’re appealing to the parents and everybody in the Seven Oaks community and school division to support this culture and cultural language,” said Juan, a bilingual program advocate.

Lopez-Sarmiento is a parent of twin daughters who attended the program in its inaugural year.

“We are really hoping the Filipino-Canadian community can get the word out, show support, and stop the School Division from ending the program,” she said in a release.

There are more than 80,000 Filipino-Canadians in Manitoba, and according to teacher Porfiria Pedrina, it’s important to know more about their culture.

“The diversity among our students as newcomer children, as well as second and third-generation Canadians, range from knowing so much to knowing so little about their heritage and language,” she said in a release. “The Filipino bilingual program is an important opportunity for them to build their own positive self-identity in a nurturing and safe cultural environment.”

The Seven Oaks School Division also currently offers Ukrainian and Ojibway bilingual programs.



Posted in All Stories, Community News

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