Mr. Speaker, I rise today to advise this House that the government has listened to the feedback we have received to date from Members about Junior Kindergarten.
In an effort to respond to what Members have told us, while at the same time not wanting to disrupt parents and schools that are in the midst of delivering Junior Kindergarten we have made the following decision.
Without changing the current funding approach to Junior Kindergarten, it will be completely voluntary for any of the 23 communities now offering Junior Kindergarten to continue with the program this year. If they choose, they will also be able to offer it in the next school year. Any of the 23 communities could stop offering the program now if they so choose.
The government will undertake a thorough review of the implementation of Junior Kindergarten in the 23 communities. The government will also reach out to all other education authorities, Aboriginal Head Start, licensed daycare and day home operators, parents and the general public to hear their views about whether Junior Kindergarten should be offered in the future and, if so, how.The review will be undertaken over the next eight months and its findings will be summarized and provided to the 18th Legislative Assembly as part of transition.
Mr. Speaker, the Government of the Northwest Territories will not offer Junior Kindergarten in any of the regional centres or Yellowknife until this review has been completed and presented to the 18th Legislative Assembly for their decision.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.