The province is working alongside Edmonton Public Schools to introduce Arabic in the 2018-19 school year.

Edmonton Public Schools currently offer an Arabic Language K-12 developed course series, which the province says is the district’s fastest growing program.

In October, 2016, the two bodies agreed to develop a new Arabic language curriculum, find teaching and learning resources.

“Our government recognizes the economic and academic benefits of proficiency in more than one language,” Minister of Education David Eggen said in a press release. “We are thrilled to be moving forward in our commitment to develop the provincial Arabic Language Arts K–12 curriculum by September 2018. We know this new curriculum will make life better for so many students in Alberta.”

The Canadian Arab Friendship Association is thrilled about the province’s decision.

“CAFA truly appreciates the efforts of the Ministry of Education to promote and enhance bilingual education across the province,” Canadian Arab Friendship Association president Yazan Haymour said. “This move forward will help to enrich the linguistic and cultural diversity of students and allow for better achievement on the social, academic and cultural level.”

The province said Edmonton Public Schools is one of the few districts offering Arabic in Alberta.