Mutual aid and well-being at the heart of the Back-to-School Symposium

With the return to face-to-face classes, primary and secondary students were asked what should be kept from distance education. Reflection from their wishes.

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Never has the notion of well-being taken so much place in schools. Students recently expressed their views on the measures that should be put forward in their school environment in order to promote their success. The Quebec Ministry of Education (MEQ) presented their testimonies during a Back-to-School Symposium.

Our Back to school symposium 2021-2022, presented by the MEQ on August 25, allowed several education specialists to express themselves on the theme of well-being at school. The ministry took the opportunity to launch its new web page of resources and tools to support the actions of school stakeholders. This contains a variety of references.

A human school

Beyond the discussions between adults that took place during the day, it was the testimonies of the young people, presented in the form of video clips, that caught the attention. With the return to face-to-face class, they were asked what should be kept from distance education. 

Flexibility in the production of assignments and their submission, the possibility of doing the class outside, the reduction in the number of exams appeared to be interesting elements for them. Human contact, having teachers who understand and listen to their needs, who give them "leeway", also emerged as a priority for them. “How to do things is more important than what knowledge to learn. If they are good, the rest will go without saying ”, summarized the host.

In response to these requests from young people, Garine Papazian-Zohrabian, a professor at the Faculty of Education at the University of Montreal, gave the teachers some ideas. “Educational differentiation becomes a key to better meet the needs of students,” she said.

She called on stakeholders from the school world to continue to show flexibility with students and school principals to focus on coordinated actions within their team. “Flexible systems are more capable of absorbing shocks”. 

In conclusion, Tina Montreuil, professor of education at McGill University, invited each teacher to survey their students at the start of the school year in order to take the pulse of each other's state of mind and better understand their expectations in relation to the unfolding of the new school year. 

All the exchanges of the Back-to-School Symposium will soon be available on the MEQ YouTube page. This activity is part of the Strategy for mutual educational assistance and well-being at school at the Ministry of Education

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About the Author

Martine Rioux
Martine Rioux
After studying public communication, Martine worked as a journalist for various publications, before pursuing her career as an interactive communications consultant at La Capitale, a financial group, then at Québec Numérique, an organization she took over as general manager before making the jump. as political advisor in the office of the Minister for Digital Government Transformation. Today she is the online Editor-in-Chief and Special Projects Manager at l'École branchée. Her dream: that everyone has access to technology and can use it as a tool for learning and opening up to the world.

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