Académie de Besançon - CEPEO
The new "Recteur de l'académie de Besançon", Mr Jean-François Chanet, was in Ottawa from April 18th to April 22nd to meet the CEPEO staff (Conseil des Ecoles Publiques de l'Est de l'Ontario). Soon after being appointed Recteur in Besançon, Mr Chanet expressed the wish to meet with CEPEO, in order to maintain this highly dynamic partnership which started end of 2013. Mr Chanet and the CEPEO Director of Education, Mrs Edith Dumont, had the opportunity to discuss their partnership along with the French Ambassador, His Excellency Mr Nicolas Chapuis.
Illustration : Arts at De La salle public secondary school (CEPEO - Ottawa)
- November 2014
During the State visit of the French President François Hollande to Canada from Nov. 2 to Nov. 4, 2014, the "recteur de l'académie de Besançon", Mr Eric Martin, accompanied the French Minister of Education, Mrs Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, in Banff, Ottawa, Québec and Montréal.
In Banff, on Nov. 2nd, a meeting was organized with the Albertan Minister of Education, the Hon. Gordon Dirks, and with Mrs Vallaud-Belkacem. During this meeting, Mr Martin and the Presidency and Direction of Calgary Board of Education detailed their fruitful cooperation.
In Ottawa, on Nov. 3rd, a series of agreements were signed between France and Ontario, including one between the "Académie de Besançon" and the "Conseil des Ecoles Publiques de l'Est Ontarien" (CEPEO).
- Late 2013
In late 2013, the Académie de Besançon, which has been partnered with the Calgary Public School Board since 2011, responded to the proposal of the Cultural Service of the Embassy of France in Ottawa to pursue another partnership with a Francophone school board in Ontario. Though relations between local educational authorities in France (the “Académies”) and Quebec are fairly extensive, Francophone school boards in Canada’s other provinces have little contact with French academic organizations. However, their educational expertise, the rich culture of their communities, and the fact that they are capable of communicating exclusively in French makes them ideal partners for French education professionals.
The Conseil des écoles publiques de l’est ontarien (CEPEO), which has its headquarters in Ottawa, expressed its interest in a possible partnership with Besançon. Contact between the two groups was made in January 2014. Three months later, on April 16th and 17th, the rector of the Académie de Besançon, Mr. Eric Martin, came to Ottawa in person, accompanied by his Director of International Relations, Mr. Jean-Paul Tarby, and the Académie’s English studies inspector/language mission director, Mr. Jean-Luc Bordron.
Ms. Edith Dumont, CEPEO Director of Education, and Mr. Rachid El-Keurti, CEPEO Executive Director, had prepared a series of meetings for the French delegation, in addition to two school visits: one to École secondaire publique de La Salle (Ottawa) and another to École élémentaire publique Gisèle-Lalonde (Orleans).
The two new partners identified several shared subjects and working practices, which will likely lead to the signing of a new agreement in fall 2014. In concrete terms, by October, two management officials from the Académie de Besançon will come and dedicate a number of days in Ottawa to observation and interviews. The goal of the visit is to produce a short documentary for French personnel about the day-to-day life and atmosphere within CEPEO schools. In return, in beginning November, three or four CEPEO representatives will take part in a seminar in Besançon wherein they will present the essential aspects of Canadian pedagogical approaches to all 150 Académie staff. At the same time, the CEPEO delegation will gather information about pre-elementary education in the French system (among other things). The Cultural Service of the Embassy of France in Ottawa, seeing the potential value of this partnership, will provide financial support for the two meetings scheduled for October and November.
If the mutual interest expressed by the two institutions comes to fruition following the initial meetings planned for October and November, all the necessary conditions will be met for these exchanges of expertise to develop further structure for the long term.
We will continue to publish updates about this partnership on this page.