For the third year in a row, NFL player and medical doctor Laurent Duvernay-Tardif is the spokesperson for Hooked on School Days.
The campaign promotes staying in school, and this year, campaign organizers are focusing on keeping students motivated during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite school closures, modified schedules and new sanitary measures, the majority of Quebec parents say their children are still motivated in school.
A Leger survey released Monday found 70 per cent of parents overall think their children are motivated, while 63 per cent of parents who have kids in high school think their children are motivated.
The survey was commissioned by the Réseau Québecois pour la réussite éducative (RQRE), who say they found the results surprisingly positive.
“We were worried about the rate of student motivation,” said Audrey McKinnon, Hooked on School Days campaign manager.
More than half of parents (52 per cent) say the biggest challenge for their children is not being able to see their friends very much. The same percentage of parents say they are concerned students are falling behind due to the pandemic.
That’s why this year’s Hooked on School Days is focused on keeping students motivated. On Wednesday, 175,000 students will attend a virtual event with Laurent Duvernay-Tardif.
Premier François Legault paid a virtual visit to a class in Beauce on Monday. Sainte-Rose MNA Christopher Skeete is sharing his personal story to try and inspire young people. He overcame a learning disability and the death of his mother when he was in high school.
“So it made school even more difficult and then, of course, I had to get a part-time job afterwards. So you know, a lot of reasons to… throw the whole thing in the air and say, ‘I quit,'” he said.
But he didn’t. He eventually got a bachelor’s degree and now at 41, he’s back at university finishing an MBA.
“I had to tell myself, ‘Chris, you’re not stupid, you’re just different.’ And I think a lot of people stop at the first part. They feel like they don’t learn like everybody else and then they conclude that they’re stupid and I think that’s the tragedy,” Skeete said.
With a dropout rate of 13.6 per cent in 2018, Quebec’s leaders know they need to do everything they can to keep kids in school.