Press Release - Education Minister Bernard Drainville today announced the priorities he wants to address quickly to improve the education system, increase student success and better value teachers.
Over the past three months, he has held numerous meetings with network stakeholders and travelled across Quebec to meet with teachers, professionals and school teams. These numerous exchanges have enabled him to identify seven priorities on which he wishes to focus his efforts.
Revaluing the teaching of French
Educational success in Quebec is fundamentally dependent on mastery of the French language. The status quo for the teaching of this subject is unacceptable. French is a government priority and that is why the Department will work to find solutions to halt the decline of written French. It is imperative to stop the negative effects of the pandemic.
Re-establish a fast track to teacher certification
Solutions and flexibility are urgently needed to alleviate the shortage of qualified teachers in the system. To this end, the government will work to re-establish a fast-track pathway to a degree that is faster than the 60-credit master's degree currently offered in Quebec universities. This degree will be based on best practices in prior learning assessment. It will allow holders of a qualifying bachelor's degree to become certified teachers and, therefore, legally qualified. This could include, for example, aspiring teachers who have a bachelor's degree in a teaching subject (French, math, English, history, geography, etc.). In addition, eligibility for this fast-track to a degree in education will be expanded.
Supporting our teachers: classroom assistants
The Minister of Education intends to use every resource to its fullest potential and provide support to public elementary school teachers. Pilot projects have been launched to add supports to the classroom and provide concrete support to teachers. The government has already announced the Ministry's intention to discuss with the unions how this service can be expanded based on the needs and capacity of schools. Classroom assistants would allow teachers to have another adult with them in the classroom to help with the day-to-day needs of students and foster a calm and harmonious environment for success. This would allow the teacher to focus on the task of teaching. It would also help to enhance the profession.
More accessible and numerous specific projects
There is a need to increase the academic motivation and sense of belonging of young people to school. That is why the government will work to extend the special projects to as many public high schools as possible. This will, among other things, promote the educational success of students as they will be able to choose an educational project that matches their interests (art, sports, science, etc.). The goal is that all public high school students will be able to access this type of program if they wish in as many schools as possible. In addition, Governing Boards need to have more resources at their disposal to carry out more specific educational projects.
Investing in vocational training: every diploma counts
The government wants to invest in vocational training by improving the programs offered and by enhancing the value of the vocational training diploma to fight against dropping out of school, which is part of its desire to graduate 30,000 students. He wants to modernize vocational training and make it even more attractive. The programs that are offered match the interests and talents of many young people, and as a society, we need to give them the tools to continue on that path because every diploma counts.
Making the education system more efficient
The government also wants to complete the reform of school governance to make the education system more effective and accountable. This includes improving access to data, as good information is necessary to make the best possible decisions. The modernization of the school system must result in better communication between the Ministry and school service centers and school boards. The sharing of reliable data, obtained in a timely and flexible manner, is essential to achieving this goal.
Continue to renovate and build schools
By building new schools, as well as renovating and expanding existing ones, the government aims to provide a school environment that is meaningful, stimulating and conducive to student success. Many schools are aging and have space issues. This is why it is necessary to continue efforts in this direction and to increase the amount of money dedicated to school infrastructure in the IQP.
Recall that the government has already invested record amounts in school infrastructure. In fact, these sums have increased from 9 G$ in 2018 to 21 G$ in 2022.
"In the last few months, I have met with a large number of people working in the education network throughout Quebec. After enriching discussions, I am proud to present today our "game plan" for education. I will focus on seven issues that come from the field, from people's experience, to make education in Quebec a success together. What I am announcing is a bit like my work plan for the coming months. This work plan will be carried out in the short and medium term, but it will have long-term effects. In addition, I continue to work daily on all fronts, including improving French in schools and providing more help to students with special needs."
Bernard Drainville, Minister of Education and Minister responsible for the Chaudière-Appalaches region