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OISE accorded VOR status in provision of French-lang. consulting services in Ont.

 

July 5, 2011

by Jennifer Sipos-Smith

 

OISE, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities have reached an agreement establishing OISE as a Vendor of Record (VOR) for the provision of French-Language consulting services in Ontario. The VOR designation will give OISE, along with other VORs, opportunities to bid on contracts for research and evaluation consulting requirements relating to French-Language education and training identified by the two ministries.

OISE is well-positioned to apply its significant expertise and contribute to the body of knowledge in this field and provide services that will benefit French-language instruction in Ontario. The work will support the ministries' research and evaluation efforts related to teaching and learning in a dynamic and inclusive minority context from childcare to early childhood, elementary, secondary, postsecondary education and training. It will also support research and evaluation related to implementation of policies, strategies, programs and initiatives, and help to determine whether programs have worked as planned and identify operational barriers.

In Ontario, the French public school system is one of four school systems that are publicly funded. There are twelve French-language school boards in Ontario, eight French Catholic, and four French public, with over 425 French-language schools. As well, because French is one of Canada's two official languages, students in Ontario's publicly funded English-language schools are required to study French. The most recent figures publicly available from the government (2008-09, OnSIS) indicate that, in Ontario, there are approximately 25,000 secondary students in Grades 9-12 and 67,000 elementary students in Grades JK-8 in the French-language system. There are
also two publicly funded French-language colleges and nine French-language and bilingual universities in Ontario.

The mandate of French-language education in Ontario, as outlined in the government's Aménagement linguistique policy, governs the implementation by education institutions of planned and systemic interventions to ensure the protection, enhancement and transmission of the French language and culture in minority settings. The Aménagement linguistique policy is a framework document that sets the guidelines for French-language schools and school boards and for the government of Ontario. Its objectives are to deliver high-quality instruction in French-language schools adapted to minority settings, educate young francophones to become responsible citizens, increase the capacity of learning communities to support students' linguistic, educational, and cultural development.