Precipitous Imposition of Financial Education Course – Teachers demand a moratorium and respect for the law

Precipitous Imposition of Financial Education Course – Teachers demand a moratorium and respect for the law

QUÉBEC, Jan. 16, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ – The Quebec Provincial Association of Teachers (QPAT-APEQ), the Fédération autonome de l’enseignement (FAE) and the Fédération des syndicats de l’enseignement (FSE-CSQ) are uniting to denounce the disrespectful and illegal initiative by the minister of education, Sébastien Proulx, to impose a new course on financial education, effective at the start of the 2017 school year.

By making this unilateral and hurried change to the course curriculum, the minister is demonstrating a significant lack of respect for teaching personnel and students, and a complete disregard for existing legal frameworks. Union organizations are therefore demanding a moratorium on the implementation of the course to take the time to do things right, while respecting the law.

The three union organizations, which represent 100,000 public school teachers across Québec, condemn the lack of consideration for teachers and the failure to comply with the procedures required to implement a new course. The legal procedure requires a formal 45-day consultation period with stakeholders, which is not currently the case.

Minister Proulx is asking school boards to adopt a course curriculum that does not comply with basic school regulations. QPAT, the FAE and the FSE can find no justifiable reason why the minister is rushing this initiative.

“By imposing the course in the coming school year, the minister is not considering the reality of school organizations. In many areas, the curriculum for 2017 has already been adopted or the consultation process is well underway. The minister is adding undue pressure to teachers, who will also be implementing the new national history programs in Secondary 3 and 4 in 2017. In fact, the latter initiative went very well. Why proceed otherwise in the case of the financial education course? Why haven’t we been given time to appropriate the content and make the necessary adjustments? It’s high time our work and expertise are respected. Once again, the minister’s way is alarming,” says FSE president, Josée Scalabrini.

The three organizations also criticize the minister’s tone on this issue, which is creating uncertainty, instability and discontent in the teaching profession. “Maintaining this bad decision negatively impacts teachers and students. With only six months until the next school year, teachers have not received adequate teaching materials, nor the training required to appropriate the content of the course in order to provide quality education to their students,” says FAE president, Sylvain Mallette.

Moratorium required
In early December, the three associations affirmed that it was too soon to make a decision on one of the proposed scenarios, yet the minister has decided to go ahead with the project. QPAT, the FAE and the FSE have therefore demanded that minister Proulx immediately impose a moratorium on the implementation of a new course on financial education for the 2017 school year. They want time to consult their members who are directly affected by this decision.

“There exist numerous possible scenarios. Stakeholders must agree on how to proceed, in addition to the fact that the course the minister wants to impose is not simply a new version of the previous one. Furthermore, the minister is ignoring the bilingual reality. Translation delays for English teaching materials must be added to the development and preparation of French materials. If the minister really wants Québec students to benefit from the course, he must take the time to do things right,” says QPAT president, Sébastien Joly.

QPAT, the FAE and the FSE are available to meet with the minister of education as soon as possible to present various solutions that respect teachers and students, and to guide the minister in making the necessary adjustments.

Organization profiles
QPAT represents 8 000 teachers working in Québec’s nine English school boards in all levels of education, as well as Anglophone teachers at the Commission Scolaire du Littoral. They negotiate in cartel with the FSE (CSQ).

The FAE groups eight unions representing some 34,000 teachers in preschool, primary and secondary schools, in prison environments, vocational education and adult education institutions, and teachers at Peter Hall and Centre académique Fournier schools, as well as the 900 members of the Association de personnes retraitées de la FAE (APRFAE).

The FSE groups 35 unions representing more than 65,000 teachers from school boards across Québec. Its members include teaching personnel in all sectors: preschool, primary, secondary, vocational education, and general adult education. It is affiliated with the Centrale des syndicats du Québec (CSQ).
SOURCE Fédération autonome de l’enseignement (FAE)
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