The 14th of February marked a special occasion for the AEFE-accredited French schools of Melbourne (AEFE stands for agency for the teaching of French abroad). It was the day that the national director of the agency, Christophe Bouchard, came to visit the schools, along side Bruno Valery, the Asia-Pacific coordinator of AEFE, Bertrand Pous, the Cooperation and Culture Counselor for the French Embassy of Australia and Myriam Boisbouvier-Wylie, Honorary Consule General of France in Melbourne.
The highlight of the day’s ceremonies was the unveiling of the AEFE plaque at Auburn High School by the Hon. James Merlino, Education Minister for Victoria, who reminded everyone of the role of the Victorian government in developing foreign language programs for schools. The AEFE certification will place Auburn High School into a network of over 500 French schools around the world. The Principal of the school, Maria Karvouni, talked about the benefits of having dual certification that easily allows young students to continue their studies in either Australia or in France. The audience was composed of school principals, representatives from the DET and the French consular advisor, Danièle Kemp.
The visit continued at Caulfield Junior College where the students gathered in a special assembly and sang both national anthems with gusto. The principal Amanda McLean received a certificate from Mr Bouchard who then went for a bilingual interview with year 5-6 students via Web Radio, in which the students proudly displayed their language skills.
The events of the day concluded with a visit to the Alliance Française, the other pillar in the teaching of French in Victoria.