Council of Ministers of Education, Canada to Take Leadership Role in On-Line Learning


Montréal, March 4, 2004 -- Speaking at the Symposium on standards for on-line learning held at International Civil Aviation Organization headquarters in Montreal, Quebec Education Minister Pierre Reid, Chair of the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC), stated that on-line learning is a key issue for all education ministers in Canada.

Minister Reid noted that CMEC has initiated a working group on the issue, led by Alberta, with participation from all provinces and territories. As early as 2001, CMEC released a vision statement on the role of on-line learning in education. For CMEC members, said the minister, “On-line learning initiatives must help eliminate the digital divide between some provinces and territories and others, between urban and rural areas, and between some groups, such as First Nations and Métis, and the rest of society. They must also take into account the needs of each region and leverage its potential.” Education ministers also believe that national initiatives must be developed cooperatively and in a coordinated way in order to build on existing achievements.

CMEC members are convinced international standards for on-line learning, required to build information systems for teaching and learning, are crucial to the enhancement of the world's educational heritage. They fully support the symposium and the work of the international plenary meeting of ISO/IEC JTC1 SC36 hosted by the Standards Council of Canada next week in Montreal.

CMEC is an intergovernmental body composed of the ministers responsible for elementary-secondary and advanced education from the provinces and territories. Through CMEC, ministers share information and undertake projects in areas of mutual interest and concern.

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Boyd Pelley
Tel.: (416) 962-8100, ext. 241
E-mail: b.pelley
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