In 1977, Québec’s National Assembly adopted the Charter of the French language (Bill 101), which states that all children must be educated in French until the end of their secondary studies, whether in a public school or a subsidized private school.
To assist those students who are not fluent in French, the Ministère de l’Éducation et de l'Enseignement supérieur du Québec offers a variety of language learning support measures in cooperation with the school boards, which offer preschool, elementary school and secondary school education.
The Charter does not apply to Québec's colleges and universities or non-subsidized private institutions.
The Charter does provide for certain special cases where children are permitted to pursue their preschool, elementary and secondary school education in English at English-language public schools or subsidized private schools.
The application of the new provisions of the Charter of the French language
The Bill 115: An Act following upon the court decisions on the language of instruction amending the Charter of the French language was passed by the National Assembly on October 19, 2010. The provisions of this Act concerning eligibility to receive instruction in English came into force on the date the Act received assent, with the exception of section 1, which came into force on October 22, 2010.
In particular, these changes allow instruction received in a private school or under a special authorization to be taken into consideration when determining eligibility for instruction in English.
A new Regulation was enacted which, among others, requires that all non-subsidized private educational institutions be classified by categories which are assigned annually in accordance with certain provisions. Since the date the Regulation came into force, studies done in a non-subsidized private school (NSPS) may be taken into consideration.
The Ministère de l'Éducation et de l'Enseignement supérieur is taking all the necessary measures to apply the new provisions of the Charter and the related regulation as quickly as possible and to inform the school boards and schools concerned about the steps to take.