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Quebec to Have Non-denominational School System; Jews Satisfied

February 16, 1966
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Paul Gerin-Lajoi, Quebec Minister of Education, anticipating the publication of the fourth and final report of the Parent Commission which has brought sweeping educational reforms to the province of Quebec, stated in a speech that he believes that the final report is going to recommend the establishment of a non-denominational school system in Quebec for those who opt for such a system based on linguistic and cultural lines and not on religious lines.

Three years ago, in its submission to the Quebec Royal Commission on Education, the Canadian Jewish Congress brief stated that the Jewish community through historical reasons and traditions, sent most of its children to the Protestant school system but that it would like to see reforms in this system based on linguistic and cultural lines, rendering the whole educational system non-denominational.

A leading spokesman of the Jewish community commenting on the Minister’s speech said it would take a great deal of effort for parents with children in school to change the present pattern. For many years the Christological aspect as now existing in the Protestant system has been in name only. This has been proved by the recent statute which provides for the nomination of five Jews to the Protestant School Board of whom one must be on the executive committee of the school board.

The present school system, the spokesman stated, will persist except for those Jews who want their children to be educated in the French language who have been dissuaded to do so up until now because of their fear of sending their children to Catholic schools. Once a good denominational system is set up, there will be a natural flow from the Protestant schools to this system, the spokesman said.

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