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Returning to normal? Overcoming vulnerabilities in an education system responding to the COVID-19 pandemic


Brief to the Minister of Education and Higher Education.

The Conseil’s full Report on the State and Needs of Education entitled Revenir à la normale? Surmonter les vulnérabilités du système éducatif face à la pandémie de COVID-19 [Returning to Normal? Overcoming Vulnerabilities in an Education System Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic] begins with a brief overview of existing research on the effects of past pandemics and other causes of disruptions to the normal school year that could shed light on the current one. It then presents an analytical framework to examine the education system’s response to the pandemic and its impacts using crisis management theory and the construct of resilience. The latter demonstrate that knowing where vulnerabilities lie is key for an organization’s ability to adapt and be resilient when faced with adversity. A cross reference of the statements submitted by the organizations with the Conseil’s own published opinions forms the core of the report, uncovering not only the vulnerabilities in the education system, but any lessons that can be drawn to minimize them.

The Conseil then concludes by proposing three broad guidelines that could steer several courses of action to swiftly address the negative impacts of the pandemic on education in Québec and make the education system more resilient over the long term.

Summary REBE 20-21