Punjabi Language Education Association (PLEA)
PUNJABI Language Education Association (PLEA) has been promoting Punjabi in BC’s public schools, post-secondary institutions and the community for the past 25 years. It is a matter of great pride for well-wishers of Punjabi that now this mother tongue of ours has achieved a prominent place not only in BC but also in Canada. It has been one of PLEA’s basic objectives that our children should have the opportunity to learn Punjabi in public schools and post-secondary institutes during school time as part of the regular curriculum.
Consequently, a lot of schools, colleges and universities are offering Punjabi classes as part of the regular programs. In this context, Surrey has been a great model for PLEA. Currently, eight high schools and six elementary schools in Surrey are offering Punjabi.
Last year, two new elementary schools in Surrey – T.E. Scott and Chimney Hill – came on board and started offering Punjabi to grade 5 students beginning in September 2018. These students will now be moving on to grade 6 in September and continue with their Punjabi language instruction.
However, according to PLEA’s information, the numbers of students currently in grade 4 who should be signing up for Punjabi in grade 5 in September don’t look good. So if these numbers don’t improve, these schools won’t be able to offer Punjabi in grade 5. Thus, it will have a major impact on Punjabi language instruction in these schools.
According to current regulations, students are required to take a second language from grades 5 to 8. Punjabi is one of those approved languages. However, in order to make it viable the school usually requires 25 students. On behalf of PLEA I would like to make an appeal to the parents of grade 4 students at both T.E. Scott and Chimney Hill elementary schools to register their child / children for Punjabi so that Punjabi classes can get underway for them in grade 5 in September.