Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Brainwashing of Students Spilling Over to Anglophone Side?

Before I went on vacation I wrote a piece concerning our English school board's inclusion of some very disturbing questions on a grade ten final exam, questions that most Anglos would agree were highly inappropriate and which evinced some indignant reaction from readers.

To date, the school boards involved haven't apologized and the matter seems to have blown over. It's typical of our English community to bitch and moan for a while, but in the end, take no concrete steps to protect our rights. Unfortunately we have demonstrated a history of acquiescence, a trait not lost on our elected politicians who quite rightly take our Anglo votes for granted.

In a Montreal Gazette article entitled, Grade 10 exam smells like propaganda, describing the fiasco, freelance writer Jim Wilson reminds us;
"If you have misgivings with this type of exam, make your views known, and call your school board or school. Ask whether they approve of this exam and are they planning to take any action so it doesn't happen again."
So how many of us heeded his advice? .......Precious few, I imagine.
That is why we as a community have been rolled over. We deserve it.

Brainwashing children with state inspired dogma is something we expect in countries like  North Korea or Venezuela, not Canada. We assume our schools keep away from biased political messages and stick to teaching critical thinking instead. For many years we have seen this principle violated on the Francophone side of the education equation, but never believed our Anglo schools would stoop to deliver a state sanctioned political message. It's sad that we have reacted so passively.
Can it be that the brainwashing taking place in Francophone schools is actually spilling over onto the English side?  If so, it's a scary idea.

Here's a reproduction of a quiz given to Francophone students over a decade ago, so if you think opinion shaping in Francophone schools is a new phenomenon, you're sadly mistaken.

It was graciously submitted by MITCH, a reader who must be a bit of a pack rat to have kept it for so long!
I'm including the original article (in English)  and the quiz itself (in French). I've added an English translation of the questions.
French Quiz

  1. I allow others to call me by an English nickname or call others an English nickname.
  2. I complain when a product ticket doesn't contain French
  3. I mostly listen to English language radio.
  4. I don't like the use of Anglicisms
  5. I speak English to Francophones
  6. I demand to be served in French.
  7. I rent English movies
  8. I speak French to immigrants.
  9. I mostly read newspapers, magazines and books in English
  10. I  speak only French at home
  11. I have an English message on my telephone answering machine
  12. I believe workers have the right to work in French
  13. I don't complain when instructions aren't offered in French
  14. I mostly consume cultural products in French
  15. I send or receive greeting cards that aren't in French
  16. I believe that an employer who cannot serve a customer in French is unacceptable
  17. I wear hats or sweaters with messages other than French
  18. I address Anglophones in French
  19. I mostly watch English television
  20. I speak French at work.
  21. I find it acceptable to receive a pamphlet, catalogue or brochure in English
  22. I work to improve my French
  23. I don't believe an employer should be forced to communicate written instructions to employees in French
  24. According to me, French is the official language of Quebec.
  25. I mostly listen to American music  
Students are advised to score one point for every even numbered question that they answered TRUE and one point for every odd-question answer they answered FALSE.

Students who score less than fourteen points are admonished that it is time to reflect on their linguistic attitude . Hmmm...

Perhaps they should be sent to a post Vietnam war type re-education camp or a Quebec version of the Russian Gulag.

So it seems that brainwashing has been going on for quite some time in Francophone schools and that the present generation has been subjected to a propaganda onslaught that teaches the very simple fact that embracing English is evil.

Incredibly, it seems that Anglophone students are now being subjected to political indoctrination as well.

On June 19th, an anonymous reader commented (Yes I read all comments...:)
"I work for the EMSB. Every school has its resident Francophone seperatist teachers. I still can't understand how or why these individuals are hired especially since they make their political views known in their classrooms and pin up the entire place with nationalistic propaganda." 
I don't know if this is true (it sounds likely), but I sure wish that this reader would elaborate. It sounds like a most interesting story and it would be useful to hear an insider's perspective.


  1. I've written this comment before and I'll repeat it here. When Patrick Watson hosted a ten-part documentary on the CBC called "The Struggle for Democracy" over 20 years ago.

    I was listening to a local radio station in Toronto when Watson was making rounds to promote the documentary. One thing he talked about, way back then, was the danger of the complacency of Canadians, and this complacency and voter apathy can lead to the type of democracy we deserve. He wasn't speaking complimentarily either!

    Fast forward to today and the dangers Watson mentioned are manifesting. BTW, creator of this blog, I'm contemplating the writing of a book myself on Quebec politics, so we may have to share the market share!

  2. I may sound overly optimistic but I am not certain this quiz would pass in 2010.

    This being said, school systems across the West have now been contamined by contempt for market economy, cultural relativism and environmentalism. You should check out German textbooks :)

    Francophone schools have simply been avant-garde (sadly)

  3. François Mitterrand::
    Un peuple qui n'enseigne pas son histoire est un peuple qui perd son identité.