September 7, 2017
The English Parents Committee Association (EPCA) is conscious that Bill 144 is outside the realm of its mandate but is also aware that some parents who home school their children do so because they have left the public school system for a variety of reasons.
Society needs to respect the decision of some parents to home school their children. Parental choice is a core value of English parents in Quebec: “Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children” (article 26 (3) from the United Nations, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights).
EPCA is a strong proponent of data-driven decision making and it supports efforts to register home schooled children. Registration should also bring value added benefit to the registrants and home schooled children. This could include an online repository of resources of teaching materials that reflect the Quebec Education Plan (QEP), available to home schooling parents. This is particularly important for English speaking minority in Quebec that has a wide array of outside resources available but may not necessarily reflect the QEP.
EPCA encourages MEES to seek input from these parents, the primary stakeholders; parents who have chosen to home school as they understand their children best. The home schooling associations should be recognized and funded, to facilitate them with dissemination of resources that would assist parents to best integrate home schooling of their children with the QEP. Some level of flexibility is needed so as to adjust to the specific needs of each family and not have them fall into a “one size fits all” solution. EPCA would also like to ensure that legislation be enacted without incurring growth in bureaucracy and limiting potential litigation costs. Monies spent on education in Quebec must impact students first, including home schooled students, and not reduce educational services currently offered in our public schools.
It is the parents’ wish that MEES continues to assist in developing projects and new policy initiatives that will have Quebec's students’ best interests at heart, that will help foster better student engagement by harnessing different learning styles and enhancing and valuing the teaching profession.
For more information, kindly communicate with EPCA President: Mrs. Rhonda Boucher by telephone at 514-778-3722 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org