Some Quebec parents worried provincial tutoring plan doesn’t include English services

Click to play video: 'English-speaking parents give failing grade to Quebec’s new tutoring program'
English-speaking parents give failing grade to Quebec’s new tutoring program
WATCH: Details of Quebec's long-awaited tutoring program were announced this week. The goal is to better support students with learning difficulties or at risk of failing out, who are struggling amid the pandemic. The province is investing $12M in two organizations, but as Global’s Felicia Parrillo reports, some are outraged over the lack of English services offered. – Jan 29, 2021

Some parents are disappointed by the recent tutoring plan announced by the Quebec government.

On Wednesday, the province announced its plan to recruit tutors to help students affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

It announced that Alloprof and Tel-jeunes, student help organizations, are getting a total of $12 million to boost services.

Alloprof will get the bulk of the funding – $7.3 million over two years.

Read more: Quebec unveils tutor recruitment platform to support students struggling amid pandemic

Katherine Korakakis, president of the English Parents’ Committee Association (EPCA) says that while this is good news, it’s only good news for part of the population.

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“The minister has used taxpayer’s money to fund an organization (Alloprof) that doesn’t offer any services to the Anglophone community,” she said.

“There is nothing wrong with the organization, it does great work, but our children are also falling behind, and our children also need tutoring services.”

Korakakis said parents are having a having a difficult time getting help from organizations like Learn-Quebec, which serves the English-speaking community, because of the increase in demand since the start of the pandemic.

Read more: Quebec nixes ministerial exams, stands by decision to reopen schools amid coronavirus surge

Learn-Quebec says they have seen a 200-per cent increase in their online tutoring services since March of last year. They have also doubled their team of tutors.

In a statement to Global News, a spokesperson for the organization said no one from the education ministry has contacted them about extra funding so far.

“We welcome this initiative from the Minister of Education,” said Carolina Toteda, spokesperson for Learn-Quebec. “We are always eager to collaborate with all of the stakeholders to offer resources and to support student success, families and contribute to community vitality.”

“Parents are telling us they have to wait a month to get services,” said Korakakis. “And the report cards haven’t even all came out yet.

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“We’re expecting 30-40 per cent failure rates.

Read more: ‘We’re on the brink of a catastrophe’: Quebec teachers protest reopening schools amid pandemic

Quebec’s education ministry said it chose Alloprof and Tel-jeunes because they are well-known and “have the necessary means to support students from all over the province, remotely.”

It added that the services provided by the two organizations will be in French as well as in English.

A spokesperson for Alloprof told Global News that the number is variable, but the organization “makes sure to always have two teachers or more, in each subject, able to respond to English-speaking students.”

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus: Quebec to provide all public schools’ students with tablets by next week'
Coronavirus: Quebec to provide all public schools’ students with tablets by next week

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