First look at GN’s Bill 25 – coalition stays, phased approach to Inuktut language of instruction

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Bill 25, An Act to Amend the Education Act and the Inuit Language Protection Act, was tabled today in the legislative assembly.

Minister of Education David Joanasie tabled Bill 25, An Act to Amend the Education Act and the Inuit Language Protection Act, in the legislative assembly June 4.
photo courtesy Legislative Assembly

While the Department of Education used Bill 37, the last government’s attempt to amend the acts, as a basis for consultation, it significantly altered several proposals.

Nunavut News has pulled out a few highlights..

Language of instruction:

Current legislation sees students in all grades receiving instruction in Inuit languages by 2019, which the government and Nunavummiut know is not possible. The Department of Education has worked out a phased schedule.

Inuit Language Arts is to be phased in for Grades 4 to 12, from now to 2039 – Bill 25 includes a schedule of dates from 2026 to 2039 for each grade for Inuktitut as a first language. For Inuinnaqtun, the phased in deadline to Grade 12 is 2037.

Bilingual Inuktut and English language of instruction for all other course for each grade will see dates set in regulations.

However, Bill 25 includes the requirement that the education minister report annually on progress. The bill includes a detailed list on what needs to be in the report.

Bill 37 would have extended the deadline for bilingual education to 2029 for Grades 4 to 9, with no set date for Grades 10 to 12.

Read about the the Department of Education, Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. and the Coalition of Nunavut District Education Authorities Education Act and Inuit Language Protection Act consultations reports:
Will Department of Education’s Bill 25 to revise acts be a repeat of 2017’s Bill 37?

Coalition or council?

The Coalition of Nunavut District Education Authorities stays, and will not replaced by a new council. The coalition will receive extra funding, and will see staff increased from two to six.

The coalition’s responsibilities would now include: training District Education Authorities (DEAs); assisting DEAs in developing school improvement plans; supporting DEAs in the development of teacher orientation programming; participating in hiring of senior regional staff; and meeting with the department twice annually to assist in the long-term planning of public education.

The coalition will also be responsible  for the Inuuqatigiitsiarniq (discipline) policy.

The Minister of Education can suspend funding if the coalition does not fulfill its obligations.

Finally, the coalition is required to produce an annual report.

Bill 37 defunded the coalition and created a new DEA council.

 

Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (IQ):

Bill 25 includes a new provision that requires Inuit Societal Values and IQ to be incorporated throughout the curriculum at all grade levels.

 

School calendars:

The education minister establishes three school calendars for each of the Qikiqtaaluk, Kivalliq and Kitikmeot School Operations, for nine calendars in total.

Bill 37 offered three school calendars for all of Nunavut.

 

DEA authorities:
For inclusive education, DEAs can’t request an inclusive education review. However, they can appoint one member to sit on the panel that reviews inclusive education decisions. Bill 37 allowed for the request for review, but DEAs were not part of the panel.

Principal terms are extended from three years to four, rather than the five in Bill 37.

DEAs also keep their authority to appoint two members to the principal appointment panel.

Read the full Department of Education comparison chart:

Comparison between Education Act Bill 25 (2019) and Bill 37 (2017)

Read Bill 25:

An Act to Amend the Education Act and the Inuit Language Protection Act

More to come.

 

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