Community / Press Release

EMSB calls for revisions to Secondary III and IV history course

students
Montreal - Tuesday, August 24, 2021

The English Montreal School Board (EMSB) has requested immediate revisions to the Ministry of Education’s Secondary III and IV most notably to further address the historical contributions to Quebec by non-Francophone cultural groups. 

In addition to June’s resolution, six other resolutions were unanimously adopted by the EMSB Council of Commissioners between 2016 and 2019 advocating for improvements to the provincial history programs. The resolutions also call for the active promotion of zero tolerance policies towards racism and discrimination.

“The present content of the curriculum falls woefully short of a fair and balanced presentation of the contributions to the development of Quebec over the centuries by the minority communities, including those of the Anglophones, Allophones, Indigenous, Blacks, Jewish, Italians, Muslim, and other minority groups,” said EMSB Chair Joe Ortona. 

To begin to address the deficiencies in the provincial curriculum, the EMSB established a History Experts Committee, which is comprised of three professional historians, as well as the EMSB History Resource Development Committee to independently review the provincial curriculum and student textbooks.

The History Experts Committee found multiple shortcomings of the curriculum, particularly when it comes to Black Canadian History, History of Immigrants, History of Indigenous People and Women in History. The Reflections textbooks (Origins to 1840 for Secondary III and 1840 to Our Times for Secondary IV) were also found to be poor translations from its original French editions, containing many historical inaccuracies.

To supplement the curriculum, the Committee recommended that additional resources, such as eyewitness accounts as well as visits to libraries, museums and archives should be implemented a means of providing students with a better understanding of history.   

About the English Montreal School Board

With a youth and adult sector population of more than 35,000 students, the English Montreal School Board (EMSB) is the largest English public school board in Quebec. Established on July 1, 1998, when the province created new boards along linguistic lines, the EMSB network consists of 77 schools and centres. For more details, visit the EMSB website at www.emsb.qc.ca.

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