Quebec tables rules aimed at cracking down on illegal religious schools

The legislation would require that students be taught a minimum amount of language courses, mathematics, science and social studies as well as write provincial exams.

THE GAZETTE
PRESSE CANADIENNE

March 27, 2019

Quebec Education Minister Jean-François Roberge has put together regulations for home schooling aimed at more effectively preventing the use of clandestine religious schools.

Roberge tabled legislation on Wednesday requiring that students be taught a minimum amount of language courses, mathematics, science and social studies as well as write provincial exams.

The rules would come into effect July 1, 2019, Roberge told the National Assembly.

In 2017, the then-Liberal government passed Bill 144, which guaranteed all children access to Quebec’s school system, regardless of their status. The law allowed authorities to cross-reference health insurance information with school enrolments.

However, then-education minister Sébastien Proulx only determined that French, a second language and mathematics must be a part of home schooling

Provincial exams remained optional under the Liberal rules, although parents were required to furnish the Education Department with learning plans and evaluations of their children as well as offer “varied and stimulating activities.”

While in opposition, Roberge criticized the Liberal bill, saying it legalized clandestine illegal schools and arguing a child could attend an illegal, ultra-religious school for 30 to 40 hours a week and yet do so legally.

Roberge said that existing legislative controls remain “largely” insufficient. He said the new regulations would prevent children “declared to be receiving home schooling” from eventually finding themselves in “establishments offering educational services outside of any government control.”

Source: https://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/quebec-tables-rules-aimed-at-cracking-down-on-illegal-religious-schools