It was January 6th. As the Prime Minister prepared to announce new restrictions, “a hundred doctors joined their voices to that of the Association of Pediatricians in pleading with the government to keep schools open ”.
For their part, school principals asked Quebec to “strengthen health measures to allow students to return to class rather than extending distance education ”.
With a return to class this week for elementary school students, and next week for high school students, their pleas have been heard in the upper echelons.
The Roberge plan
Two days after Mr. Legault’s high mass, it was the turn of his Minister of Education to come and present his game plan to us. A press conference with ups and downs. If the educational component contains interesting elements, that concerning sanitary measures leaves us rather a bitter taste.
From a pedagogical point of view
In March 2020, I wrote on my personal blog that the Minister of Education was to order a downtime for June 2021. At the time, this condition seemed essential to a smooth transition. As far as I’m concerned, this is late news, but good news.
Some players, disappointed with this decision, believe that it was a great opportunity to officially measure the “COVID” effect. I will answer that it is easy to build a measuring instrument which allows the figures to say what you want.
Let us place our trust in the teachers.
On this blog, in November, I asked to revise the weighting of the first stage downwards for the good of our students. So this is another piece of good news.
However, if the old weighting was 50-50, Mr. Roberge has still not ruled on the one that will come into force.
According to the Policy on the Evaluation of Learning, transparency is an essential value:
“Transparency in evaluation is necessary insofar as it helps to establish the credibility of the whole education system in society. This is why the ministerial intentions in the evaluation of learning and the mechanisms that make them operational must be known. […]. Transparency also assumes that the standards and methods of evaluation are known and understood by all. ”
Thus, I hope that the Minister of Education will not wait for the official results of the first bulletin in order to make a decision. If this is the case, this “fiddling” with notes should be criticized by the network.
Since the beginning of the year, the school staff have been working hard to help students and lead them to success. This way of doing things has always been the case. Adjust during the year to optimize our interventions as well. This is the norm in a school environment.
So tutoring is one good idea among many. However, before the start of the 2020 school year, various education stakeholders had proposed innovative ideas given the exceptional situation experienced in the spring. In order to honor his quality-equity guarantee, Minister Roberge would have had an interest in working more with his partners.
From a health point of view
Two elements caught the attention: the masks and the air quality report.
In the spring of 2020, while Quebecers were stocking up on toilet paper in order to survive the next decade, in Taiwan, there was a shortage of masks. The greatest stress of the Taiwanese population was then directly linked to the worry of parents who had to return their children to school. The government’s immediate response? The establishment of new production units to manufacture masks close to the N95 standard.
With us, after the “no mask” and “with the mask you want” episodes, we are now dealing with procedural masks.
“The supply difficulties explain why the students did not wear a medical mask at the start of the school year. According to the National Institute of Public Health of Quebec (INSPQ), the “blue mask” should have been preferred. “
Without seeming to be, we played with our health this fall.
Which brings us to the presentation of the report – worthy of scientific research by my students – on ventilation.
According to Michel Seymour, “the ministry report is the result of a real cover up. We would have liked to camouflage the problem of transmission by air in schools that we would not have done otherwise ”. I invite you to read his excellent text, a must. Of two things one: Either the government denies the effectiveness of HEPA filters because it doesn’t want to foot the bill, or it really believes what it says.
It doesn’t matter. The story remains the same.
In education, we are used to living with the times.