Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavik September 14, 2012 - 10:23 am

Schooling for Kuujjuaq francophone kids still up in the air

The Kativik School Board "reviewing their position" despite Sept. 13 deadline

NUNATSIAQ NEWS
A group of 15 francophone students from Kuujjuaq are studying in a rented space at the Kuujjuaq Forum. (PHOTO BY JANE GEORGE)
A group of 15 francophone students from Kuujjuaq are studying in a rented space at the Kuujjuaq Forum. (PHOTO BY JANE GEORGE)

KUUJJUAQ — Despite being asked to do so by Sept. 13, the Kativik School Board has not yet responded to an order from Quebec’s education department to produce a plan for offering education to 15 francophone children in Kuujjuaq who speak French as their mother tongue.

The KSB issued a news release Sept. 13 by fax, after working hours, which said the school board is “reviewing their position on the Tutoring/Homeschooling program.”

A letter sent Sept. 11 in French and in an English translation by Louise Pagé, Quebec’s deputy minister of education, to Annie Popert, the KSB’s director general, and copied to two of the 10 Kuujjuaq parents who want their children educated in French, stated “measures may be taken to rectify the situation” if the school board didn’t meet the Sept. 13 deadline.

The solution proposed by the KSB for the parents, to offer five hours of French tutoring outside of school, “is not satisfactory to the parents, nor does it meet the requirement to provide educational services in French to these students,” the letter said.

In the letter Pagé said she wanted to express her “concern regarding those students who are not currently attending school in the area under the jurisdiction of your school board.”

“As stipulated in section 17.0.59 of the James Bay and Northern Québec Agreement and in section 88 of the Charter of the French Language, educational services in French must be provided, starting in Kindergarten,” Pagé said.

The Sept. 13 news release from the KSB also said the school board is “questioning” Quebec’s education department about its Sept. 11 letter and will produce an “official response.”

That statement will be made public early next week, the school board said.

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