March 8, 2017
The Honourable Sébastien Proulx
Minister of Education, Recreation and Sports
Minister of Education and Higher Education
1050 Louis-Alexandre-Taschereau Street
Aile Rene-Levesque, 3rd floor
Québec (Québec) G1R 5E6
Subject : Modification of the Basic School Regulations in preschool , elementary and secondary education
On Thursday, March 2, 2017, you introduced a proposed regulation intended to modify the Basic School Regulations at the preschool, elementary and secondary level which would, among other things, authorize the legal use of subject-time allocation grids to include a compulsory financial education course at Secondary Level 5. This would be achieved by modifying the number of instructional units in the Contemporary World course as well as in the option courses.
To accomplish this, you embarked on a rushed process which ignores the periods of consultation laid out in the law. We wish to express our disappointment and shock. You justify your actions by suggesting we are in an emergency situation. However, nothing justifies such extreme haste in the compulsory implementation of a financial education course. For this reason we consider your actions to be illegal.
As we have said repeatedly, we have no objection to the introduction of financial education elements into the curriculum. We must also repeat that you have taken no account of teachers, either in the development of the program as a compulsory course or in the study of various scenarios of implentation within the subject-time allocation. We also condemn your decision to set an implementation deadline of September 2017, which completely ignores the difficulties which will be encountered by teachers who will have to teach this course. For them, the problems related to appropriation time and availability of appropriate and validated materials remain. Furthermore, the obligation faced by many of them to implement both the new financial education course and the new history course, while simultaneously reorganizing their instruction of the Contemporary World course, is likely to have a negative impact on the quality of the instruction they are able to deliver. Uncertainty about quality and the time allocated for training has become a source of useless anxiety among teachers.
You have repeated many times your desire to respect teachers and to recognize their expertise in your future success policy. Unfortunately we must say that in this dossier, you have demonstrated exactly the opposite attitude.