|EMSB CALLS FOR DELAY IN IMPLEMENTATION OF NEW HIGH SCHOOL HISTORY PROGRAM|
MONTREAL, JANUARY 31, 2017- The English Montreal School Board is calling upon the Ministère de l'Éducation et de l'Enseignement supérieur (MEES) to delay the implementation of a new Secondary III-IV History course by one year.
Minister of Education Sébastien Proulx has yet to give his final approval for this program, and has extended the pilot phase of the curriculum until August 2017 so that more revisions could be made. “The EMSB Council of Commissioners has heard its community and shares its deep concerns about the content of the course,” said EMSB Chairman Angela Mancini.
In a resolution adopted at the September 28 Council meeting, it was noted that the EMSB has a responsibility to represent and defend the anglophone community as it did so forcefully and eloquently in the battle against Bill 86. The EMSB Council voted to withhold its final approval of new Secondary III-IV History course until changes are made to include a more accurate representation of the historical contributions of the First Nations, anglophone, and allophone communities to the development of Quebec society. The Council asked for feedback from EMSB History teachers who are presently implementing this program. Sixty-eight percent of the teachers who completed the questionnaire indicated that there should be more indigenous content.
Commissioner Joseph Lalla moved a motion at the January 25 Council meeting to ask the Minister of Education to provide English students with the similar/identical instructional and learning materials that are available to French students for the Secondary III and IV History program. In addition, the Minister is being requested to ensure that a minimum of twenty percent of the Secondary IV History program honour the diverse linguistic and cultural history of Quebec and include the historical contributions made by the First Nations communities, as well as those made by the anglophone and allophone communities.
Copies of the EMSB resolution on this dossier are being forwarded to other English school boards to encourage them to present similar motions to the Minister of Education such that a province-wide effort may be engaged to offer a more culturally and linguistically appropriate Secondary history course of study to students enrolled in Quebec’s English school boards.
Michael J. Cohen