Quebec Provincial Association of Teachers Sends Open Letter to Minister of Education Michelle Courchesne Regarding Textbooks



    QUEBEC CITY, Oct. 1 /CNW Telbec/ - On October 1, 2008, the Quebec
Provincial Association of Teachers (QPAT) sent an open letter to the Minister
of Education, Recreation and Sport, Michelle Courchesne, regarding QPAT's
ongoing concerns about the lack of English textbooks.
    QPAT raised this issue in March of 2008 with the Minister. Since then, as
QPAT President Serge Laurendeau acknowledges in his letter, that there has
been "...concrete progress: textbooks have been produced for secondary IV
Mathematics and History and Citizenship Education courses in time for the
beginning of this school year".
    However, Mr. Laurendeau goes on to point out that "despite this progress,
considerable work remains to be done". Several courses do not yet have an
approved textbook and there needs to be a long term solution which guarantees
the simultaneous availability of English and French textbooks. Mr. Laurendeau
concludes by calling upon Minister Courchesne to "make the necessary efforts
to address all the outstanding issues". QPAT intends to continue to take the
necessary steps to come to a resolution of this matter. The full content of
the letter follows:

    
    Quebec Provincial Association of Teachers
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    l'Association provinciale des enseignantes et enseignants du Québec

    Open Letter to the Honourable Michelle Courchesne, Minister of Education,
    Recreation and Sport

    October 1, 2008

    Minister Courchesne,

    In March of this year the Quebec Provincial Association of Teachers
brought to your attention the critical issue of a lack of textbooks for
students in English schools in Quebec. We expressed our concern at the ongoing
lack of such material, particularly because of curriculum reform being
implemented in secondary IV and V, the years in which students acquire credits
for their high school diploma.
    Since that time, we have participated in the work of a committee you
formed soon after our complaint. In a relatively short time, we have seen
concrete progress: textbooks have been produced for secondary IV Mathematics
and History and Citizenship Education courses in time for the beginning of
this school year. We recognize this progress and are aware of the resources,
both human and financial, which the MELS committed to obtain this result.
    However, at this point in time it is important to point out that, despite
this progress, considerable work remains to be done. Here is a partial list of
the most pressing items:

    - Even though certain textbooks are available for secondary IV, the
      teacher resource kits which usually accompany textbooks are not yet
      available.

    - Secondary II and III mathematics and secondary III science still lack
      textbooks and resource kits.

    - We are concerned that secondary V textbooks and resource kits will be
      unavailable in time for the beginning of the 2009-2010 school year
      given that some programs are still being finalized.

    - There are no textbooks available for any of the new Ethics and
      Religious Culture programs.

    - A long-term solution which ensures the simultaneous availability of
      textbooks in French and English when new programs are implemented must
      be developed.

    In order for this matter to be completely dealt with, these issues must be
resolved quickly.
    We are calling upon you to make the necessary efforts to address all the
outstanding issues. We will continue with our efforts, and we look forward to
a favorable response on your part.

    Yours truly,

    Signed

    Serge Laurendeau
    President
    

    QPAT represents the 8000 teachers in the nine English public school
boards in Quebec as well as English teachers in the Littoral school board.




For further information:

For further information: Jean-Paul Fossey, Executive Assistant, QPAT,
(514) 694-9777, Cell: (514) 434-2168, jean-paul_fossey@qpat-apeq.qc.ca

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QUEBEC PROVINCIAL ASSOCIATION OF TEACHERS

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