February 22nd, 2024

Share of students in French schools rises in Quebec over last two decades: watchdog

By The Canadian Press on December 20, 2023.

A new study from Quebec's language watchdog agency shows the proportion of anglophone students attending French schools has nearly doubled in the last two decades, from around 18 per cent in 2000 to about 32 per cent in 2021. Quebec's provincial flag flies in Ottawa on June 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

MONTREAL – A new study from Quebec’s language watchdog shows the proportion of anglophone students attending French schools has nearly doubled in the last two decades, from around 18 per cent in 2000 to about 32 per cent in 2021.

The proportion of allophone students – those whose first language is neither English nor French – in French schools also increased in the same time period, from about 79 per cent to over 92 per cent.

While provincewide the share of students in French school systems increased by less than two percentage points, to slightly more than 91 per cent, that figure jumped by about eight per cent on Montreal Island, to about 82 per cent.

The agency points to what it calls a notable drop in the proportion of anglophone and allophone students eligible for English-language education in the province in the last 20 years.

About 72 per cent of anglophone students were eligible to attend English school in 2021, down 13 per cent from 2000, while just 7.5 per cent of allophone students were eligible for education in English in 2021, down from 20.6 per cent.

Although there are some other exceptions, Quebec’s language law limits attendance at English public schools to children whose parents or siblings were educated in English in Canada, or who have already received most of their education in English in Canada.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 20, 2023.

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