After requiring that students at the end of secondary school in the red zone attend school every other day for health reasons, Quebec must review its directive since young people cannot take online courses due to lack of internet access in their homes. region.
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“In territories where the Internet network is inaccessible or inadequate for distance education, (…) face-to-face services must therefore remain the mode of delivery of lessons for students of 4e and 5e secondary “, we can read in a letter from the Ministry of Education sent to the school network on Friday.
Quebec also announced at the end of the day on Monday that third-secondary students will also have to attend school part-time from November 2.
In the office of the Minister of Education, Jean-François Roberge, it is reported that it is “a very small proportion of students” who find themselves in this situation.
“Exceptionally, for these very specific cases, classroom instruction every day is necessary so that students can adequately continue their learning, since the virtual mode is not possible,” said her press secretary, Geneviève Côté.
20% in Abitibi-Témiscamingue
The Quebec Federation of Educational Institution Directions (FQDE) reports that the proportion is however higher in some regions. In Abitibi-Témiscamingue, it reaches 20%, says its president, Nicolas Prévost. “It’s huge,” he says.
However, the lack of computer devices is not the cause this time around, unlike last spring, added Prévost.
“These are really students who do not have access to a connection, neither by satellite nor by optical fiber. Even if we gave them a tablet with an integrated internet connection, it wouldn’t work, ”he explains.
The affected students, who usually live in smaller, more remote municipalities, will come to school every day and take their course in class or online at the school’s computer lab, if their teachers teach remotely from the school. house every other day.
“Very worrying situation”
At the Parti Québécois (PQ), Member of Parliament Véronique Hivon considers the situation very worrying and denounces the “contradictory message” sent by Quebec concerning the importance of respecting the health measures in place.
“We are expanding part-time education for secondary 3 students but in some areas, it’s not that bad (not to do it) because we are not able to offer the services », She laments.
Concerns are also very real in parents’ committees. “In the event of the complete closure of the school serving these settings, will there be a disruption of educational services?” asks Marc-Étienne Deslauriers, spokesperson for the Regroupement des committees de parents autonomes du Québec (RCPAQ).
At the Fédération des committees de parents du Québec (FCPQ), we are delighted that students who do not have access to online courses can continue to go to school every day, while stressing that high Internet access speed throughout Quebec remains a crucial issue, particularly during a pandemic.