Manitoba government introduces law to lower school age, simplify enrolment process

The Manitoba government has introduced a law that would lower the age of a child to attend school and remove barriers to students enrolling in schools in the area where they live, Early Childhood Learning Minister Nello Altomare announced on Wednesday.

“We want to make sure every kid is set up for success and that means making sure they have access to education, particularly in the critical early years,” said Altomare.

“We know when kids attend school regularly, they are more likely to succeed, go to college or university, and get a good job that will help them build a good life. That is why we want to make sure they are able to go to school wherever they are living.”

Click to play video: 'Manitoba replacing General Educational Development (GED) tests'

Manitoba replacing General Educational Development (GED) tests

Currently, the student requirement to attend the school within the catchment area of their parent of guardian’s home poses challenges, especially for students with alternative care or arrangements, the minister highlighted.

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The proposed amendment aims to guarantee that children residing with a responsible adult can enrol in their local school within their school division, even without a formal transfer of guardianship.

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Additionally, the amendment seeks to clarify the rights of temporary residents to enrol their children in the neighbourhood public school.

It aims to reduce compulsory school age from seven to six years old, and the right to attend school from six to five years old, aligning Manitoba’s regulations with the national standard across Canada.

The Manitoba government will continue to work with school divisions to remove barriers to students attending school, said the minister.

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