Open Letter to the Quebec Minister of Education, Recreation and Sports
Dear Minister Proulx,
I am writing to follow-up on two urgent matters related to education in Nunavik. Firstly, the accreditation of the Kativik School Board (KSB) mathematics and sciences program, and 2) the need for the Ministry to appoint a person at the Deputy Ministers level to work with us on a regular basis and resolve issues as they arise.
For the past five years, we have been writing regularly to the Minister of Education to request assistance on issues at the core of our education mandate and responsibilities, without receiving due attention. The accreditation of the Kativik School Board mathematics and sciences programs is one example of how the Ministry of Education has consistently ignored our request for assistance and support. As a result, Nunavik students find themselves in a situation for which both the Kativik School Board and the Ministry of Education share responsibility.
Three years has passed since your Director of Curriculum Development, Mr. Hamel, retired. Until now, we have not been provided with a representative to work with on curriculum development matters. Since Mr. Hamel’s retirement, we have continually attempted to resolve the program accreditation issue with the Ministry. However, we have had no one to work with at that level. The fact that our counterparts change constantly and are not familiar with Nunavik also brings another set of additional challenges.
To date, we remain at a standstill and have received no indication that work is progressing at the ministry level. Given the importance of the KSB programs accreditation issue, we demand that a clear timetable be communicated to us immediately and that action be taken to complete the remaining steps in the accreditation process.
I would also like to stress that any delays in the review and accreditation of the school board’s programs has direct and tremendous repercussions on our students and on Nunavik as a whole. Since 2014-2015, our Secondary 5 graduates have been receiving Attestations of Equivalence of Secondary Studies (AESS), not Secondary Studies Diplomas. The AESS was meant to be a temporary measure. The school board’s objective is to work collaboratively with the Ministry of education to ensure that all Nunavik receive a Secondary Studies Diploma upon completion of their Secondary 5 studies.
The delays we have been facing in resolving the issue of accreditation of our mathematics and sciences programs are indicative of the need for a designated support to the Kativik School Board. The fact that Ministry staff change constantly poses significant challenges.
The tasks at hand are complex and are not limited to the urgent AESS-SSD issue. They involve a wide range of technical and pedagogical issues, which requires coordination at the deputy minister level, in line with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission recommendation 62, iv.
I remind you that the Kativik School Board mathematics and sciences programs is waiting for your approval and we insist that this be made a priority so that our students in Nunavik can once again start receiving a diploma when graduating from high school.
We look forward to receiving a clear indication that these two issues are being prioritized, as you recently indicated on April 28, during the examination of the 2017-2018 estimates of expenditure in education at the National Assembly.