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Skepticism and caution regarding the catch-up plan in Gaspésie and the Islands

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Quebec announced a series of voluntary measures to catch up in class. (Archive photo)

  • Stéphanie Rousseau (View profile)Stéphanie Rousseau

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The academic catch-up plan unveiled Tuesday by Quebec satisfies school stakeholders, but leaves parents with children with difficulties more skeptical.

While the Common Front unions will begin voting on January 15 on the agreement in principle reached during the holidays to put an end to the labor dispute, the Minister of Education Bernard Drainville wanted to show flexibility with the middle of the 'education.

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The Minister of Education of Quebec, Bernard Drainville, during the announcement of a series of measures to “compensate” for the education which should have been offered during the days of strikes observed by union members of the public network, at the end of 2023.

The $300 million catch-up plan announced Tuesday does not impose any additional days of compulsory classes, but rather provides voluntary measures to catch up. The government also leaves significant freedom to schools and educational centers for their application.

The plan provides that schools will be able to offer tutoring outside of school hours, specialized help for children with special needs, free summer classes and catch-up during spring break. Quebec will also revise the weighting of ministerial tests, in order to give a greater share to teacher evaluations, as during the pandemic.

The director General of the School Service Center of the Islands welcomes the plan presented.

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For us, it seems realistic and we emphasize its flexibility. These are not measures that come to us wall to wall, we can adjust by school, where there may be very different needs, says Brigitte Aucoin.

She believes that free summer courses and the adjustment of weighting are among the measures which will allow effective catch-up.

The next steps are that each management will meet its school team this week and next, says Brigitte Aucoin.

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Anne Bernier, president of the Eastern Quebec Education Workers Union (Archive photo)

For her part, the president of Eastern Quebec Education Workers Union, Anne Bernier, hopes that the wishes of staff members to participate or not in catch-up activities will be respected.

Staff should not feel pressure to accept or not. If the students need it and I have the time and the desire to do it because I have time and I decide to do it, ok. But no, let it not become imposed, says Anne Bernier.

Mother of three children, Sonia Lavoie is more skeptical of the measures. Two of her sons have learning difficulties and she wonders if tutoring on a voluntary basis will really have the desired effect.

I have a child with ASD. It is complicated. His learning capacity is less good, of shorter duration, so at midday he will not be able to be there, in the evening when he comes home, he no longer wants to do anything, because he is burned out, she describes.< /p>

A 17 year old child, even if you tell him, there is catching up , if the child does not want to go, it becomes complicated.

A quote from Sonia Lavoie, mother of three children

She specifies that she would not have wanted compulsory catch-up days, but believes that the measures announced will have a limited effect and she wonders if the staff will be present to meet the need.

The child who will be able to benefit from it and say yes to all the help, it'll be great, but no two kids are the same.

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