French school board supports fight against English school closures on P.E.I.

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Spring sitting of P.E.I. legislature closes

The chair of Prince Edward Island's French Language School board says the Island's francophone community understands the concerns of people faced with possible school closures involving English schools and are offering their support. 

Emile Gallant said in the 1960s over 60 small schools were closed in rural communities across P.E.I., taking with it access to the French language in some of those locations. 

"So, it's taken us over 40 years now to get back five of those schools. We understand that in those small rural communities like Bloomfield and St. Louis and Belfast that closing those schools is going to have a devastating impact on those communities."

'Strong across the Island'

The school review decision from the board of directors of the Public Schools Branch will be made public Monday. Communities have been protesting the potential closures for months.

The schools that have been identified for possible closure are: Georgetown Elementary, Belfast Consolidated, St. Jean Elementary in Charlottetown, St. Louis Elementary and Bloomfield Elementary.

Gallant said the French Language School Board believes the small rural schools are important for the island. 

"We just can't have everything in one area, in the cities. We need to have a province that's strong across the Island." 

'They need to fight and we support them'

While the board chair said they have sent no formal letter to the provincial government about how they feel, they wanted the schools facing potential closure to know how they felt. 

"We hope that the decision that the province is going to make for them is good because it will have an impact and they need to fight and we support them." 

Gallant said the French Language School Board will continue to fight for expansions and upgrades to some of the French schools to ensure the education is comparable for all.

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