Quebec begins two-day consultations on education
The Quebec government is holding a two-day education consultation in Quebec City Thursday and Friday.
It focuses on student success and finding ways to increase graduation and to support those with special needs.
“For us, we want the government to take into account that we are different. One size does not fit all,” said Stephen Burke, an executive member of the Quebec English School Boards Association (QESBA).
After battling the government’s controversial school board reforms – that were eventually dropped – English school boards want to make it clear they need to be consulted.
Burke said the nine English school boards cater to 100,000 students, are spread out across the province and have many different needs.
“We’re saying, ‘please don’t forget us because our day-to-day life is different from that of the French school boards,'” he said.
On Thursday, Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard made the opening remarks at the consultations, welcoming stakeholders to help draft a new education strategy.
“We’ve already announced, and it’s being deployed as we speak, $1.3 billion over three years, for close to 800 personnel in our schools. That is very substantial,” Couillard said.
However, he was vague about what his top priorities would be going forward.
“They vote for a law, then they have a consultation and who knows where they’ll go in 2017,” said Jean-François Roberge, Coalition Avenir Quebec (CAQ) education critic.
The Parti Québécois (PQ) insisted the government is not acting fast enough to standardize professional services.
“In Abitibi-Témiscamingue, there are two psychologists for 7,000 students. It almost means there are no services,” said Alexandre Cloutier, PQ education critic.
© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.