FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – A report released today by Canadian Parents for French BC & Yukon shows that more students in Fort St. John and indeed the entire province are participating in French immersion than ever before.

The report showed that province-wide, French immersion enrolment has been increasing for 20 consecutive years. Enrollment in School District #60 has also hit yet another record this year.

As of last school year, there were 389 students the Peace River North School District registered in the program, which equals 6.1 percent of the entire student body. Total school district enrollment last year was 6,359.

The French Immersion program has seen a steady increase in enrolment since the 2012/2013 school year, when less than 330 students were registered.

The association says that as a result of the program’s booming popularity, districts around the province are scrambling to find enough qualified teachers and teaching assistants.

As of the 2017-2018 school year, 53,487 students were enrolled in French immersion across BC, or 9.5% of the entire student body.

“French immersion is a well established and highly regarded program,” said Diane Tijman, president of Canadian Parents for French BC & Yukon.

According to Stats Canada, Canadians who speak both French and English earn, on average, 10% more, and have a lower unemployment rate, compared to Canadians who only speak one of Canada’s two Official Languages.