The Big Adventure
Leaving home and moving to a new province isn’t easy. However, when such a change is driven by a project, the results are very positive. Originally from Morocco, Hind Rami settled in British Columbia before coming to live in Saskatchewan twelve years ago. Her project was to establish two early childhood centres.
“This all started with volunteer work in a Francophone early childhood centre in BC where my 3 year old son was enrolled. It didn’t take me long to discover the joys of being with children and families and to be inspired by the devotion, creativity and know-how of the educators I met.”
In order to open these centres, Hind is required to get her diploma in early childhood education. Now living in Saskatchewan, she enrolled at Collège Mathieu.
Collège Mathieu is a Francophone postsecondary education institution which offers technical and professional training that enhances the employability and development of Francophones and Francophiles.
The early childhood education program addresses labour shortage issues for the government and for the Francophone community in this priority area. College Mathieu currently has 119 students enrolled in this program.
The program is offered online and it is possible to create one’s own career path, thus facilitating a threefold balance: family, work and studies. Since the program is offered in French, Hind is studying in her mother tongue.
She also benefits from reimbursement for tuition costs as a student in early childhood education. "Government support is outstanding,” she says. “No other province reimburses tuition for this program."
In October 2015, the Saskatchewan Ministry of Advanced Education granted to Collège Mathieu the status of designated institution for welcoming international students. This designation enables the Collège to offer such students adequate learning opportunities and thus facilitate better integration into the labour market.
While she no longer operates these centres, Hind still works as a consultant in the early childhood field in Saskatchewan. Twelve years have gone by, and she remembers those beginnings: "I thought I knew a lot, but I came to realize that I knew nothing, at least not in this field. Being an early childhood educator is not just a profession; it's a life skill, a passion, an honour!"