RAWQ suspends free winter French course
The Regional Association of West Quebecers (RAWQ) recently announced they are cancelling their next session of French second-language courses (FSL) set to begin in late January due to budgetary constraints.
The organization receives funding from Québec’s Ministère des Affaires municipales et de l’Habitation to offer two sessions per fiscal year (March to March). In the 2019-2020 year, they hosted one in the spring, (April - June) another in the fall (Sept. - Nov.) and hoped to offer a third winter session (Jan. - March). However, with the entire budget spent between the first two sessions, no funds remained for the winter course.
According to Linton Garner, the organization’s executive director, he hopes to resume courses as soon as possible, but it may not be before the fall. “After we cancelled the course, we had a lot of people calling in to see if it could go ahead if they paid for it. We’re looking into a self-financed course for a small fee and will know in a few weeks if that will [go ahead],” he said. The fall 2020 course will remain free and those who registered for the cancelled course will be given priority when classes resume.
Garner emphasized the popularity of the program, which is offered in ten-week sessions in Aylmer, Shawville and Wakefield. “We’ve had over 200 people registered for each session, which has only increased over time, and we always have a waiting list. With people calling in to see if they can pay for the courses, you can see how important they are to them,” he concluded.
RAWQ began offering FSL courses in 2018.