Published on: September 5, 2017 | Last Updated: September 5, 2017 1:40 PM EDT
Asylum seekers are entitled to free education for school-age children. John Mahoney / Montreal Gazette
Quebec says it will start providing educational activities this week to about 400 children staying at temporary sites set up for people who have fled across Quebec’s border over the summer to seek asylum
The province “wishes to ensure that these young people prepare for school, despite the transitional situation in which they find themselves,” the government said in a press release.
Asylum seekers from many countries, including Haiti, have crossed the border from the United States into Quebec because they’re worried that they will be deported when their legal status expires in January. Others say they don’t feel welcomed by U.S. President Donald Trump.
The educational activities are being made available thanks to six school boards – the Commission scolaire de Montréal, and the Pointe-de-l’Île, Marguerite-Bourgeoys, Marie-Victorin, Patriotes and Laval school boards – with the help of Haitian community groups and other groups.
The activities will prepare the youngsters for school integration in the coming weeks.
The children will be working on French, math and other topics. The setting will also allow them to “familiarize themselves with the cultural environment of Quebec and to socialize within group settings.”
Up to four hours of activities per day are planned – two hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon, the government said.
Asylum seekers are entitled to free education for school-age children.
The Education Department and the school boards are working to ensure that all these young people can join the school as soon as possible, the government said.
Several hundred children of asylum seekers have already registered with various boards, including the Laval and Marie-Victorin school board.
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