This month, Dominica joins 79 other countries around the world in celebrating Francophonie Month.
Modern Languages Coordinator at the Ministry of Education, Charlene White-Christian, said different activities will be held throughout the month.
She explained that French Week will be observed from March 14th to 20th, with assemblies at schools island-wide and exhibitions at the various primary schools, showcasing the work of the students.
On Wednesday, 16th March, there will be a French festival at the Goodwill Primary School.
“The Primary Schools French Festival will be held on Wednesday 16th March, from 10:00 a.m., at the Goodwill Primary School. Over 400 primary school students will gather at the Goodwill Primary School for this festival,” White-Christian stated. “During the day, a Francophone exhibition will be held, whereby various schools will present different francophone countries. A French Spelling Bee Competition will culminate the day’s activities, where over 15 schools will participate.”
At that festival, there will also be the recognition of the top French student from each primary school, as well as the presentation of awards to primary school French teachers who have been teaching the language for over eight years, and others who are pioneers in the preservation of the French language.
Additionally, the Goodwill Primary School, on Friday 18th March, will introduce a French cooking competition, which will begin at 11:00 a.m. Twenty-one students (and their parents) are set to compete.
White-Christian expressed her hope that the competition be adopted at other primary schools and become an annual event.
International Francophone Day will be celebrated on March 20th across the globe. A church service will be held at the St. Alphonsus Catholic Church, in Goodwill, from 9:00 am.
Meantime, the Goodwill Primary has been identified as the beneficiary of this year’s Adopt a School Project. The project, initiated in 2010, aims to refurbish a room at a primary school, to facilitate the learning of the French language.
Foreign Service Officer, Ross Loramol, announced that the school, on March 26th, will receive a newly refurbished French room, equipped with the necessary teaching materials and tools for the teaching and learning of French at that school.
“This year is the 6th year, as part of our contribution to the development of French on the island, we organize what we call French Rooms… So, two things we need—one, that French is taught, and two, that there is space for the setting up of a French Room,” he explained. “Once that is identified, we come to the school, the space is identified to us, we paint it… in the colours of the Francophonie, we build shelves, if that is necessary, we repair the blackboard, if there is one. Whatever outfitting that we need to do to the existing space to transform it as much as possible to having that ambience Francaise, we do that.
The Roseau, Grand Bay, and Penville Primary Schools have all benefitted from this project.