Conseil supérieur de l'éducation
 
2001-2002 ANNUAL REPORT COMMITTEE: COMPOSITION AND STATUS OF WORK

The annual report on the state and needs of education 2001-2002 look at orientations and priorities in education and their impact on the role of the state.

Since January, the annual report committee has been working on the 2001-2002 report on the state and needs of education. This new committee is composed of the following persons:

  • Suzanne Girard, committee chair for the 2001-2002 report; senior manager, staffing, equity and recruiting, National Bank of Canada and member of the Conseil supérieur de l’éducation until October 2001
  • Clairandrée Cauchy, communications student at UQAM; ex-chair of the Conseil permanent de la jeunesse
  • Claude Corbo, political science professor at UQAM; committee chair for the 2000-2001 report
  • Marthe Couture, member of the Conseil supérieur de l'éducation; vice-principal of the Riverside Park Technology Centre of the Lester-B.-Pearson School Board
  • Miranda D’Amico, member of the Conseil supérieur de l'éducation; professor and director of the master’s program in child study at Concordia University
  • Johanne Deschamps, coordinator, education services, Fédération des travailleurs et travailleuses du Québec
  • Pierre Harrison, member of the Conseil supérieur de l'éducation, academic dean at the Cégep du Vieux-Montréal
  • Carol Paré, ex-director general of a school board
  • Laurenne Turcotte, teacher, École des Cimes, Commission scolaire des Premières-Seigneuries
  • Suzanne Mainville, staff member of the Conseil supérieur de l'éducation and committee coordinator

The report will focus on three main objectives concerning orientations and priorities in education:

- to understand the political process by which they are defined

- to describe the objectives that are already established and define those that should be included among the government’s priorities for the next decade

- to analyze how the government operates with regard to education in order to ensure that the orientations and priorities selected are implemented under optimal conditions

The committee will base its reflection on all the consultations carried out last year for the 2000-2001 annual report, as well as on research that is currently under way. It will continue its work until September 2002 and the next annual report should be released at the end of 2002.

The members of the Conseil supérieur de l'éducation held hearings in Montréal on December 13, 2001, in order to consult representatives of the Montréal region’s education community. The morning was devoted to meetings designed to familiarize the members with the specific characteristics of the Montréal milieu.

In the afternoon about fifty people, including school and school board administrators, teaching and non-teaching professionals and parents, participated in four workshops on the implementation of the reform.The hearings

First, Gilles Lamirande, interim regional director at the Ministère de l’Éducation, painted a detailed picture of the island of Montréal, which gave the members of the Conseil a clear idea of the situation. He was accompanied by Lyne Martin and Suzanne Dyotte, who presented the Supporting Montréal Schools Program and the orientations of the Policy Statement and Plan of Action on Educational Integration and Intercultural Education.

Next, Francine Ladouceur and Chantale Richer, respectively principal and former principal of École Bienville, and Jean Archambault, an education consultant, gave an eloquent talk on the implementation of the reform. École Bienville is one of the 16 elementary schools that tried out the Québec Education Program before its definitive implementation.

The members of the Conseil also met with Johanne Lavoie, vice-principal of École Édouard-Montpetit, and three teachers, Anne-Marie Lafleur, Nadia Nouali and Jacques Chaput, who gave an enthusiastic report on the Agir autrement project, which was implemented last September. The means used in this program to prevent students from dropping out have already produced encouraging results, including a drop in the rate of absenteeism and a reduction in lateness, as well as a 70-percent parental attendance rate at the first parent-teachers meeting.

Finally, Charles E.E. Levy, director-general of the English-Montréal School Board and Elizabeth Speyer, director of instructional services at Lester-B.-Pearson School Board, of the Groupe corporatif d’implantation de la réforme dans les commissions scolaires de l’île de Montréal (Corporate committee for the implementation of the reform in Island of Montréal school boards), presented an extremely interesting progress report on the introduction of the reform in the schools of the Montréal region.

The members of the Conseil all remarked on the high quality of the presentations.

The workshops

The workshops addressed the following themes: "Becoming familiar with the reform"; "The governing boards and their evolution since their introduction"; "Strategies for change"; and "The implementation of the reform—favourable conditions and obstacles."

Concerning the theme "Becoming familiar with the reform," most participants stressed the need for more information. The reform involves changes at several levels—a new curriculum, a different way of organizing instruction, and new learning conditions and academic organization—and the workshop participants insisted that they needed time to assimilate the reform.

With regard to the governing boards, the participants mentioned that it was difficult to obtain parent representation. They also criticized the heavy responsibilities attributed to the school governing boards, which are relatively new institutions.

The multiethnic character of the Montréal region makes it a major challenge to inform parents about the changes associated with the reform. Indeed, in some schools, 80 percent of the students’ parents do not speak French or English.

These discussions were extremely fruitful. They gave the members of the Conseil new insights, which will guide them in their ongoing work.

In conclusion we wish to recall that the Conseil is preparing two briefs on the reform for the fall of 2002. One will bear on the adaptation of the reform to local conditions in secondary schools, and the other on the cycle-based organization of learning in elementary schools.


Panorama • Volume 7, Number 1 • February 2002

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