Katimajiit and the teachers of Northern Quebec - NQTA, a CSQ-affiliated union, demands the creation of a school calendar adapted to the needs of Nunavik



    MONTREAL, Aug. 21 /CNW Telbec/ - At the Katimajiit meeting to be held in
Kuujjuaq Thursday and Friday, August 23 and 24, the Northern Québec Teaching
Association, an affiliate of the Centrale des syndicats du Québec (CSQ), will
take the opportunity to urge the creation of a school calendar adapted to the
reality of Nunavik youth.
    The president of NQTA, Mr Patrick D'Astous, who will be attending the
meeting, plans to meet with Kativik School Board (KSB) administration to study
changes to the present school calendar to better take into account the reality
of life in Inuit communities.

    A strong consensus in the school community

    The NQTA president is certain that, in the end, the adoption of a more
realistic school calendar will have a positive impact on school results for
Nunavik students.
    "This demand represents a large consensus in the school community. In
2002, NQTA submitted to the Kativik School Board (KSB) a petition signed by
over 400 teachers, support staff and school administrators supporting such a
calendar. We also presented statistics clearly indicating that the rate of
absenteeism doubled from mid-May to mid-June, the end-of-year examination
period," observed Mr D'Astous.

    Putting the students first

    The KSB teacher representative to NQTA, Mr François Beauchemin, noted
that "in this matter, we have consistently indicated our willingness to work
together with the KSB to develop a calendar that is not only acceptable to
everyone, but that is, to the greatest extent possible, adapted to those at
the heart of our concerns, the students of Nunavik".

    The time is right

    The vice-president of the CSQ, Mr Daniel B. Lafrenière, agrees that this
is the time to provide Nunavik students with a school calendar adapted to
their needs.
    "This initiative would be entirely consistent with the political process
through which the inuit of Nunavik will obtain new powers, particularly in the
field of education. The Katimajiit meeting in Kuujjuaq on August 23 and 24
constitutes an important milestone on that path," commented Mr Lafrenière.

    Working together

    The vice-president of the CSQ and the president of NQTA together look
forward to working with all those involved to achieve the goal desired.
    Mr D'Astous and Mr Lafrenière agreed: "We urge administrators of the
Kativik School Board to show similar leadership, as they have in the past, by
instituting discussions with teachers and all the other partners in education
in Nunavik, particularly those responsible for sports activities, in order to
develop a school calendar that will ensure success,"

    NQTA profile

    The Northern Québec Teaching Association (NQTA) was created in 1971 and
currently represents over 1300 members working as teachers and support staff
for the Cree School Board and the Kativik School Board. NQTA is affiliated
with the Centrale des syndicats du Québec (CSQ).




For further information:

For further information: Claude Girard, Information agent, CSQ, Cell.:
(514) 237-4432

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Association des employés du Nord québécois (AENQ-CSQ)

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