Minister of Education, Culture and Employment (ECE) R.J. Simpson repealed the 2016 Ministerial Directive on Enrolment of Students in the French First Language Programs today. The Directive will be replaced by new regulations under the NWT Education Act prior to the start of the 2020-2021 school year.
The decision to repeal was made after discussions with stakeholders and in response to concerns regarding the administration of the 2016 Directive and the need to provide more clarity around admission requirements. The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) will be consulting education bodies on the new regulations this summer.
It is proposed that the new regulations will include the same three categories for admission into French First Language schools as the directive. These include reacquisition (those whose ancestors were rights-holders), new immigrant and non-citizen Francophone streams. Consultation will also include the possibility of a fourth stream of admission that would take French-speaking non-rights-holders into consideration. The regulations will not be more restrictive than the 2016 Directive.
New regulations will only pertain to applications for the 2020-2021 school year and beyond. Applications that are currently under judicial review continue to be subject to the Directive.
“The Government of the Northwest Territories is committed to supporting the protection of the French language through the provision of French First Language education in the NWT. Codifying the Directive in regulations that will be based on lessons learned and consultation with stakeholders will ensure greater clarity around enrolment in French First Language schools.”
- RJ Simpson, Minister of Education, Culture and Employment
- The 2016 Ministerial Directive on Enrolment in French First Language Programs outlines which non-rights-holders can be admitted to French First Language schools in the NWT. Rights-holders under Section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms are automatically enrolled.
- There are three categories of admission under the 2016 Directive:
- Reacquisition: The parent would have been a rights holder but for his or her lack of opportunity to attend a French first language school or his or her parent’s lack of opportunity to attend a French first language school (i.e. the child’s grandparent);
- New immigrants: The parent is an immigrant to Canada, whose child upon arrival does not speak English or French and is enrolling in a Canadian school for the first time.
- Non-citizen Francophones: The parent meets the criteria of section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms except for the fact that he or she is not a Canadian citizen.
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