December 8, 2023

The Queens County Citizen

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Education takes on water: Throughout his elementary school years, my 12-year-old son didn’t have a teacher for a full year

Education takes on water: Throughout his elementary school years, my 12-year-old son didn't have a teacher for a full year

Without being flamboyant – and if we leave aside the least saga of air purifiers – Jean-Francois Roberge’s tenure has been good overall.

The network is in tatters, we are betting on the fundamentals: improving the teaching profession through salary hikes, recruitment of professionals and major investment in infrastructure…

Despite these efforts, the network still seems to be under a thousand feet of water. So the appointment of Bernard Drainville comes at a crucial time. Dilapidated and three-speed schools, lack of teaching and support staff, overcrowded classes, delayed learning due to the pandemic, dropouts… and so on.

Montreal Public School on Respirator

My 12-year-old son finished elementary school in a public school in Montreal where the gym ceiling fell in a little bit on their heads every day, and in his six years of elementary school, he didn’t have a teacher until he was a year old. You read that right.

An entire school in Le Plateau-Mont-Royal had to be closed and moved to two neighborhoods in Villeray, so major work had to be done.

Montreal’s school center is liquidating real estate assets to fill its coffers, while schools are overflowing and land prices are exploding to buy new schools or CPEs, and no one can stop it.

And that’s without mentioning the main issue that everyone sweeps under the rug, namely the rampant three-speed school. Isn’t it also responsible for, if not abolishing government funding for private schools, at least accommodating more disadvantaged students?

Let’s hope the new minister gets a strong mandate from the Prime Minister to help a Montreal public school survive on artificial respiration.

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Betting based on

During the Speech from the Throne, the Prime Minister sets priorities. Healthy buildings, adequate space, adequate number of teachers and professionals, all this should be the main objective of government action.

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