8/16/2007

Education and Parenting

There is a disturbing article in the Vancouver Sun today. The Quebec Ministry of Education is threatening a Mennonite community with legal action if their children are not enrolled in the local public school. The action could be as drastic as taking children away from their families.
As though the state knows what's best for children.
"We are not trying to prevent them from living their life the way they want, but they have to obey the law when it comes to educating their kids," said Education Ministry spokesman Francois Lefebvre.

What a lie! Not trying to to prevent them from living life as they wish to.
The ministry says the community can send children to public school or open a private school, which would require permits and certified teachers.
"They would have to follow the curriculum, but religious private schools can add specific classes dedicated to their faith," Lefebvre said.

This is where secular individuals display their profound lack of understanding about the life of the devoutly religious. It's not about one class. It's not about one service on Sunday. It's about an entire way of life.
The Ministry's move is profoundly disturbing on several levels. There is simply no respect for the community as a whole. There is no consideration for the individual families. There is no thought for the parent and any concern for the well-being of these children is feigned at best. The Ministry does not care about the citizens of this community; it cares about its agenda and the furtherance of its own ideas.
The responsibility for educating a child lies with the parent first and the state second. The state may only interfere if there is either no parent or the child is demonstrably not being educated. Such is not the case in this instance. In fact it is possible, even likely, that the children of this Mennonite community are better educated than those attending the local state-run school.
I would be interested to know what the position of the Quebec Ministry of Education is on homeschooling. If anyone has any information, please send it my way.

4 comments:

Mark said...

I'm keenly interested in the home schooling policies of Quebec given we are considering it for our youngins as they reach school age. Judging by the edict in question it would seem Quebec doesn't allow home schooling, no?

Reminds me of a similar situation in Belgium with the editor of Brussels Journal.

Anonymous said...

It is legal to homeschool in Quebec. However it is one of the most difficult provinces to do so in. My advice would be to not register your kids at all and fly under the radar. If you do register, get a membership with HSDLA, so that you will have legal representation if you encounter any troubles.

Anonymous said...

How can the state indoctrinate the kids if they don't go to state controlled schools?

eliza said...

Come to Alberta where it is legal and homeschooling is supported. The government realizes that homeschooled kids excel over public schooled kids. We need you here.

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