Conseil supérieur de l'éducation
The State's Role and Future PRIORITIES in Education

by Céline Saint-Pierre,
Conseil President


The choice of the theme for the annual report on the state and needs of education must echo the concerns of the education community, and the deliberations proposed must reflect an approach that is forward-looking, systematic and strategic. Consequently, the Conseil has decided to devote its 2000-2001 and 2001-2002 reports to an in-depth analysis of the State’s role in education and to defining guidelines for the selection of future priorities.

The education context is changing radically. Québec’s financial position has improved considerably and should enable renewed resource allocation. The implementation of the reform of elementary and secondary (youth and adult) programs is under way; decentralization of the school system is nearing completion; and many major education policies, notably those related to universities, continuing education and adult education have been adopted or are pending adoption.

While it is true that these changes require monitoring, we must go further. We need forward-looking deliberations now, given the new pressure on the State and on the education system. Be it in terms of transborder power relationships, the unfolding of the new economy and the knowledge-based society, the rapid development of new media, demographic trends marked by population aging and low birth rates, increased international mobility, financial disparities and social exclusion… all of these new or consolidating phenomena exhort us to reassess the role of the State and the education system in industrialized countries. Québec society must also ponder these issues.

The Conseil intends to spend two years on this project, but will submit a report to the Minister of Education on an annual basis. The 2000-2001 report will give an overview of the situation and stress the stakes and challenges confronting the State and the education system; the 2001-2002 report will propose aims for defining the role the State is expected to play, and guidelines for setting education priorities for the next ten years.

The annual report committee, chaired by Claude Corbo, and the Conseil have their work cut out for them. They will be conducting numerous consultations, among the Conseil’s commissions, the education community and main sector players. We would like to thank you all in advance for your cooperation. Your contribution will influence the quality and relevance of the analyses proposed and of our recommendations.

Panorama • Volume 6, Number 1 • February  2001


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