A digital file for each new student

News 16 January, 2018
  • Photo Stevens LeBlanc
    The prime minister Philippe Couillard, in the company of ministers Sébastien Proulx and Luc Fortin.

    Daphnée Dion-Viens

    Tuesday, January 16, 2018 11:16

    Tuesday, January 16, 2018 16:02

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    Quebec announced a series of measures to help children start off on the right foot, including the creation of a digital file unique for each new student, eye examinations of the same breakfasts at school as early as the next school year.

    These measures are part of the strategy, which aims to promote equal opportunities for children 0 to 8 years, unveiled by the government Couillard on Tuesday. It is a step in “fundamental” in the process of transformation of the school network, initiated by Quebec, said the minister of Education, Sébastien Proulx. “It is necessary to act early, as early as possible”,-he said.

    Photo Stevens Leblanc

    To facilitate transitions, a unique record scanned will be created for each new student in kindergarten. This tool will follow the child throughout his school career, up to secondary school, in order to facilitate the transitions, and the exchange of information in the event of a change of school, for example. This measure is applauded by the Federation of parents ‘ committees, which has demanded for the past ten years.

    In childcare services, a folder that is standardized will also be created to draw the portrait of the development of each child, but this will be the parent who will be responsible for then transmitting it to the school. All children 4 years of age in childcare services will also be activities to familiarize themselves with their new school.

    Photo Stevens Leblanc

    Lunches and eye exams at the school

    To detect vision problems that can affect the success of the students, an eye exam will be available at school to all kindergarten students, as early as next year. The eye exam is already free for youth 18 and under, but only 20% of children take advantage of them before they enter the school.

    The government Couillard will also offer breakfast to 725 students from schools in underprivileged areas, through an agreement with the Club des petits déjeuners, which is already present in approximately 300 institutions in the province.

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    500 additional professionals

    Quebec also provides for the hiring now of 500 new professionals in the school system – including remedial teachers, speech therapists and psychologists – in addition to the hires announced in the last provincial budget. The goal is to build a “floor ” resources” for each school, explains it.

    In total, Quebec plans to spend $ 1.4 billion by 2022 for some fifty measures, including $ 350 million from the economic update announced in November. Different measures are also planned to improve the skills of students in literacy and numeracy upon entry to the school.

    Photo Stevens Leblanc

    The province currently has a total of 800 000 children between the ages of 0 and 8 years old. Québec relies on early intervention with these children, since this period represents a “critical step” in their development, explains it. Among them, 25 % have factors of vulnerability for their development when they enter kindergarten. Québec hopes to reduce this proportion to 20% by 2022.

    What they said :

    In the education network, this strategy has been relatively well received. Even if many see it as a first step in the right direction, players recall, however, that the approach of the elections, the government Couillard does that reinvest the amounts that were lost during cutbacks in recent years.

    The flesh around the bone

    “You start to put some flesh around the bone that represents the Policy of educational success. We are beginning to see concrete things like eye exams and the folder uniform for our children. We know that there are a lot of important information that is lost during transitions.”

    – Corinne Payne, president of the Fédération des comités de parents du Québec

    An awakening to the approach of the elections

    “It’s amazing what an upcoming election may wake up the government!!! This awareness and the efforts that will be made to support children aged between 0 to 8 years in their development are directions which go in the right direction. However, several measures do not have a precise timetable for their implementation and we do not know the details.”

    – Louise Chabot, president of the Central trade union of education

    Kindergarten 4 years of age in underprivileged areas : a “missed opportunity”, according to one expert

    The government Couillard will continue the deployment of the classes of kindergarten 4 years of age in disadvantaged communities within five years, rather than to offer it to all. Aegis Royer, professor of special education at the University of Laval, sees it as a “missed opportunity” and calls on Quebec to “redo its homework”.

    “I was expecting, given the leeway in terms of budget, we can implement a maternal full-time 4 years inclusive, for all. The majority of the vulnerable young people do not live in disadvantaged environments,” since the learning disabilities, or behavior have nothing to do with the tax report, says Mr. Royer.

    By excluding from its strategy kindergarten at 4 years for all, Québec has significantly weakened its efforts in terms of academic success. “It is as if we had a table with a leg that is chambranlante. It’s diy education,” says Mr. Royer, while recalling that a large proportion of children of four years old not attending day care services.

    In a recent memory, the College of psychologists has also spoken in favour of the native to 4 years for all children in Quebec.

    The Centrale des syndicats du Québec, it is estimated, instead, that the deployment should continue in the poorest communities, while recalling that the quality should also be at the rendezvous.

    The minister of Education, Sébastien Proulx, was not clear Tuesday how many new classes of kindergarten 4 years of full-time disadvantaged communities will be offered next year. Currently, there are 289 in the school system.