Back to class: “Very little, or no” break in service, says Roberge

With the exception of a few “marginal” cases, “very little or no” service failures were recorded in the school network a week after the students returned to class, says the Minister of Education, Jean- Francois Roberge.

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At a press conference on Monday, to announce new measures to fill the labor shortage in education, the Minister commented on the situation of the school network, a week after the resumption of classes in elementary and secondary schools.

“What I am told is that 100% of our classes are open”, he indicated, specifying however that this information was collected “by sounding” and that exceptions could therefore exist.

A “beautiful success”

Given the still tense health situation, this is a “great success”, underlined the minister who continues to combine “optimism and vigilance”.

Some parents had to come to class to do surveillance, as Quebec had authorized, but in these rare cases, the teachers were still present virtually in order to teach the children.

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Quebec is still working to collect the number of students absent from classes due to COVID-19 and should announce it “soon”, specifies Jean-François Roberge.

To parents worried about the lack of data on the number of infected students in classes, he reminds the new rules established in collaboration with public health.

“The new way to deal with COVID is to see if people at home are positive and can justify being withdrawn, but [le fait qu’il y ait] withdrawals in the class, that does not justify withdrawing your child, ”he explained.

8000 teachers wanted

Faced with a major shortage of labor in the field of education, the government announced four measures in the hope of recruiting 8,000 teachers and other professionals within five years.

Among other things, the financial incentive granted to retirees who agree to return to the network will become a permanent measure, which has made it possible to recruit approximately 700 professors to date.

Supposed to end in June, it allows them to receive the same salary as when they decided to leave the network, up to a maximum of $412 per day, without penalty on their retirement benefits.

Also, long-term contracts may henceforth be granted to replacements in order to guarantee them days of work throughout the year.

In view of the next school year in the fall of 2022, Quebec is asking school service centers to hold their recruitment sessions earlier in order to immediately indicate to potential candidates which positions they will be able to occupy.

Finally, some $22.6 million will be invested in the training, francization and recognition of qualifications for daycare educators in schools in order to recruit more of them.

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