This is page numbers 367 - 397 of the Hansard for the 12th Assembly, 5th Session. The original version can be accessed on the Legislative Assembly's website or by contacting the Legislative Assembly Library. The word of the day was education.

Topics

Question 208-12(5): Restrictions On Students From Communities Attending School In Yellowknife
Item 5: Oral Questions

February 25th, 1994

Page 371

John Ningark Natilikmiot

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, my question is directed to the honourable Minister of Education, Culture and Employment. Madam Speaker, the quality of education is very important in my community and in the region as well. Also, the choice of education for students is another important factor, not only for the student but also for

the parents. I'm in a position to go against a decision of the divisional board in my region. The honourable Minister of the Department of Education, Culture and Employment said a student can apply to come to Yellowknife but only if the course he wants to take is not available in local or regional schools. Why is there a restriction in place? Thank you.

Question 208-12(5): Restrictions On Students From Communities Attending School In Yellowknife
Item 5: Oral Questions

Page 372

Madam Speaker

Thank you. Minister of Education, Mr. Nerysoo.

Return To Question 208-12(5): Restrictions On Students From Communities Attending School In Yellowknife
Question 208-12(5): Restrictions On Students From Communities Attending School In Yellowknife
Item 5: Oral Questions

Page 372

Richard Nerysoo Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Madam Speaker. The basis on which the restriction is made is to support the development of our community education system. It is our attempt, Madam Speaker, to ensure that the same quality of programs is offered in our communities. We want to ensure we're responsive to the needs of the region, the community and we implement the directions we receive from the divisional boards on this particular matter.

Return To Question 208-12(5): Restrictions On Students From Communities Attending School In Yellowknife
Question 208-12(5): Restrictions On Students From Communities Attending School In Yellowknife
Item 5: Oral Questions

Page 372

Madam Speaker

Thank you. Item 5, oral questions. The honourable Member for Deh Cho, Mr. Gargan.

Question 209-12(5): Options For Parents And Students For Location Of Schooling
Item 5: Oral Questions

Page 372

Samuel Gargan Deh Cho

Thank you, Madam Speaker. My question is for the Minister of Education. Many young people and their families want children educated close to home. However, there are a significant number of parents and students who want the opportunity to attend high school in larger centres where the course choice is greater. The government is not allowing that choice. Instead, it requires students to attend school in the home communities if the grade is there. Is the department prepared to allow students and their parents to decide where they would like to obtain their high school education?

Question 209-12(5): Options For Parents And Students For Location Of Schooling
Item 5: Oral Questions

Page 372

Madam Speaker

Thank you. Minister of Education, Mr. Nerysoo.

Return To Question 209-12(5): Options For Parents And Students For Location Of Schooling
Question 209-12(5): Options For Parents And Students For Location Of Schooling
Item 5: Oral Questions

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Richard Nerysoo Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Under the present policy, no, that choice is not there. The policy has been approved, not only by Cabinet but by this Assembly, with the way we've voted the resources in our budgets. I would be careful about how I answer the question because I'm not going to suggest to the honourable Members here that that matter not be considered. However, I do say to the honourable Members that probably the best solution would be for us to ensure that we deliver quality programming in our communities and use all the vehicles to ensure that delivery. Whether we use television and technology to deliver those programs, I think it's in our best interest to respond to the needs of the student through whatever vehicle.

I think the honourable Member, in his own statements, has made reference to the matter of quality. That is our goal and that is hopefully what we can achieve with the support of my colleagues in this House.

Return To Question 209-12(5): Options For Parents And Students For Location Of Schooling
Question 209-12(5): Options For Parents And Students For Location Of Schooling
Item 5: Oral Questions

Page 372

Madam Speaker

Thank you. Supplementary, Mr. Gargan.

Supplementary To Question 209-12(5): Options For Parents And Students For Location Of Schooling
Question 209-12(5): Options For Parents And Students For Location Of Schooling
Item 5: Oral Questions

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Samuel Gargan Deh Cho

Thank you. I appreciate that response. In this case, then, the government's first priority is to respond to the local educational authorities and the divisional boards as opposed to responding to the parents and the students?

Supplementary To Question 209-12(5): Options For Parents And Students For Location Of Schooling
Question 209-12(5): Options For Parents And Students For Location Of Schooling
Item 5: Oral Questions

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Madam Speaker

Thank you. Minister of Education, Mr. Nerysoo.

Further Return To Question 209-12(5): Options For Parents And Students For Location Of Schooling
Question 209-12(5): Options For Parents And Students For Location Of Schooling
Item 5: Oral Questions

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Richard Nerysoo Mackenzie Delta

Well, Madam Speaker, I'm hoping that the local representatives, the community educational representatives, are responding to the needs of the children. That would be my presumption. I agree with the honourable Member that if that is not the case, then we have to review the matter. But, I really do believe that the CECs do take to heart the concerns of the children. I think if there are problems in that area, and, as Members of the Assembly, we'll have to address that and, as Minister, I'll have to take the advice of Members of this Assembly.

But, I do believe that our best method of dealing with this issue is to ensure that the elected representatives in the communities are responding to their needs. That is my first priority, to respond to the needs of our children. That is the responsibility of those who are given the administrative management responsibility, like our divisional boards. They have to deal with that issue. I agree with that particular matter.

Further Return To Question 209-12(5): Options For Parents And Students For Location Of Schooling
Question 209-12(5): Options For Parents And Students For Location Of Schooling
Item 5: Oral Questions

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Madam Speaker

Thank you. Supplementary, Mr. Gargan.

Supplementary To Question 209-12(5): Options For Parents And Students For Location Of Schooling
Question 209-12(5): Options For Parents And Students For Location Of Schooling
Item 5: Oral Questions

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Samuel Gargan Deh Cho

Thank you. CECs operate in the communities. Do they operate independently or are they operating on the basis of the Education Act and the policies this government has to carry out education in the communities?

Supplementary To Question 209-12(5): Options For Parents And Students For Location Of Schooling
Question 209-12(5): Options For Parents And Students For Location Of Schooling
Item 5: Oral Questions

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Madam Speaker

Thank you. Minister of Education, Mr. Nerysoo.

Further Return To Question 209-12(5): Options For Parents And Students For Location Of Schooling
Question 209-12(5): Options For Parents And Students For Location Of Schooling
Item 5: Oral Questions

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Richard Nerysoo Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Madam Speaker. The responsibility of CECs and divisional boards is to carry out the legislation, as the honourable Member has pointed out, including the Education Act. But, also they are to carry out the directives that this department issues to those agencies. If they're not doing that, I think that we have an opportunity, through our strategy and amendments to the Education Act to ensure that they in future have the legislative direction to ensure we meet the needs of our students.