Calgary, 20 March 2023 – On 9 March 2023, Philippine Consul General Zaldy Patron and Alberta Education Minister Adriana LaGrange met and discussed the Filipino Language and Culture program in Alberta schools and the teaching opportunities for the Filipino internationally educated teachers (IET).

Consul General Patron sought Minister LaGrange’s support for the introduction of Filipino Language and Culture subjects to more Alberta high schools given that there are now an estimated 216,000 Filipinos in the province.

“I very much appreciated the discussion with Mr. Zaldy Patron, the Philippine Consul General to Calgary. I look forward to working together to further the initiatives that were discussed to better serve Filipino students and their families,” said Minister of Education LaGrange.

Currently, there are five high schools in Alberta (four in Edmonton and one in Calgary) that offer three elective Filipino subjects, namely, Filipino 15, Filipino 25, and Filipino 35.

Consul General Patron also proposed that appropriate Filipino language subjects be introduced in elementary school and junior high school.

Likewise, he requested more funding support for community-based Filipino schools, such as the Calgary-based Philippine Cultural Centre Foundation, and the Edmonton-based Filipino-Canadian Saranay Association of Alberta.

Minister LaGrange clarified that the introduction of Filipino Language and Culture subjects in Alberta schools is community driven. The Filipino community within a school district can petition a particular school if they would like the Filipino language to be taught in that school.

Consul General Patron requested Minister LaGrange for the issuance of letters of authority to eligible Filipino IET that will allow them to work provisionally as teachers in Alberta while they are undergoing the Internationally Educated Teachers Bridging Program.

Minister LaGrange indicated that Alberta Education welcomes and encourages Filipino IET to apply to the Department of Education to have their credentials reviewed. Alberta Education issues letters of authority once qualifications are clearly outlined and able to be assessed by the Department.

School authorities often employ individuals to instruct language and culture courses under the supervision of a certified teacher. Teacher certification is not required for language and culture instructors.

The two officials agreed to work together to inform the Filipino community about the teaching opportunities in Alberta for the Filipino IET.

The program, Foreign Prepared Teacher Bridge to Teacher Certification Conditional grant, operated by the University of Calgary and the University of Alberta, supports immigrants, who are internationally educated teachers.

“After successfully promoting the welfare of the Filipino internationally educated nurses in Alberta, this time we are working with the Ministry of Education of Alberta to promote the welfare of the Filipino internationally educated teachers and to advocate for the teaching of more Filipino Language and Culture subjects in Alberta schools,” said Consul General Patron.