Conseil supérieur de l'éducation
NEW SHARING of Powers and Responsibilities in Education

The Conseil supérieur de l'éducation urges the government and labour unions to unravel the Gordian knot of standardized regulations that hinder the exercise of powers and responsibilities at the grass-roots level and this at all levels of education. The Conseil feels that administrative standards, budgetary rules, basic school regulation, and collective agreements should be more flexible in order to give "first-line" players more room to manoeuvre and to enable them to assume control of their situation.

This is the position taken by the Conseil in its 1995-1996 annual report on the state and needs of education, entitled Pour un nouveau partage des pouvoirs et responsabilités en éducation. To underline its clear support of the move to decentralize power toward the educational institutions, the Conseil chose to launch its report at a secondary school in the Outaouais region on December 4, 1996, the day it was tabled in the National Assembly by the Minister of Education.

The document examines power-sharing among the political, administrative and professional levels, as well as the stake of the community at large (parents of students, students themselves, social and community groups, businesses, local and regional populations) in this common good, education.


The role of the State

The State should include general aims, expected results, and public accountability of educational organizations.

The Conseil denounces the "bureaucratic stranglehold" on education which saps democratic vitality. It believes that the government should play a role in supporting education, especially in the field of research, and in sharing information and resources among the various networks.


Intermediate organizations

The Conseil supérieur de l'éducation maintains that school boards should be reorganized on a linguistic basis and that there should be fewer of them. New power-sharing with schools will necessarily lead to greater recognition of the pedagogical and administrative competence of their staffs.

As for colleges and universities, as well as continuing education, compartmentalization and competition should give way to joint action, partnership, and regional solidarity.


Educational institutions

The Conseil is convinced that primary and secondary schools, colleges, and universities should be the main focus of action, especially as regards pedagogy. Power-sharing should be rethought in order to reflect the challenges to be met and the courses of action required in educational institutions.

The Conseil encourages the development of diversified projects within schools, characterized by an administrative style which rallies all players, a flexible organization of work, collegiality within, and partnership without.

While aware of widespread misgivings regarding the intention to decentralize, if, as it is feared, decentralization involves dumping the unpleasant task of cutting budgets and resources, the Conseil salutes the many local efforts in all educational sectors to take charge and to assume responsibility. It urges institutions to take fuller advantage of existing courses of action.

Panorama • Volume 2, Number 1 • February 1997


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image représentant le théme de la Accès à la trousse : Pour une école riche de tous ses élèves