QUÉBEC, March 17, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - The government is giving priority to success in education. This goal is reflected in the Québec Economic Plan, which includes additional investments totalling over $1.2 billion to improve direct services to students and renovate and upgrade educational institutions.
"Overall, the annual rate of growth in education spending, which was set at 0.9% last fall, will be raised to 3% for 2016-2017. The pace of growth will be the same for the two subsequent years. We want to provide our youth, in all regions of Québec, with more stimulating learning environments to help them succeed in school," Mr. Leitão concluded.
Improve services for students
Additional investments of $500 million over the next three years will be put toward increasing success in education by, in particular:
- providing a stimulating learning environment and encouraging young people to stay in school ($300 million);
- giving students the desire to succeed and strive for excellence, particularly through the practice of physical activity at school and the strengthening of ties with civil society partners and the cultural community ($120 million);
- strengthening ties between the education networks and businesses in order to better meet labour market needs ($80 million).
Acting early and in the right place
The Plan for Success in Education includes the addition of specialized staff to assist students with learning disabilities, particularly in underprivileged areas. A total investment of $159 million over three years is planned for that purpose. Over the same period, the Plan also provides for an additional investment of $108 million a year to combat school dropout and $33 million for various other initiatives, including the l'École du 21e siècle project.
"These new resources will allow us to give individualized support to nearly 12 000 students in 150 Québec schools. This will in turn allow us to more effectively address the school dropout issue. We will do this with regional partners working to increase student retention," the Minister said.
Giving students the desire to succeed and strive for excellence
Offering diverse academic paths gives students the desire to succeed by providing opportunities to experience success in school. To that end, the plan includes initiatives totalling $40 million a year over the next three years to drive students to succeed and excel by:
- fostering success through physical activity at school ($8 million);
- fostering learning and success by exposing students to arts and culture ($3 million);
- implementing the Placement Réussite program to create and strengthen ties with key partners from civil society ($4 million);
- supporting academic success at the college and university levels ($25 million).
Pursuing innovation in education
Creating ties between the education networks and businesses helps ensure that young people get the education and training needed to develop their full potential while also meeting current and future labour market needs. Against this backdrop, the Economic Plan provides for nearly $80 million in investments over the next three years to continue innovating in education by:
- supporting school-to-work transition and ensuring a better match between training and jobs ($26 million);
- increasing training and the funding of enhancement projects ($24 million);
- facilitating student mobility in Québec ($13 million);
- supporting college technology transfer centres ($16 million).
Improving education infrastructure
An additional investment of $700 million over the next three years is also provided to continue upgrading and renovating educational institutions. This investment will be used to:
- maintain assets in school boards and the higher education network ($500 million);
- make schools more environmentally responsible ($100 million);
- build new school gymnasiums ($50 million);
- fund the construction of sports and recreation facilities ($50 million).
"Education is the best investment for fostering Quebecers' individual and collective prosperity and well-being. Québec must be able to capitalize on the talents of our youth in all of our regions in order to rank among the best in academic success," Finance Minister Carlos Leitão stressed.
SOURCE Cabinet du ministre des Finances
For further information: Audrey Cloutier, Press Relations Officer, Office of the Minister of Finance, 418 643-5270