Curriculum Reform - Some progress has been made, but more needs to be done

    MONTREAL, March 14 /CNW Telbec/ - The Quebec Provincial Association of
Teachers (QPAT) has worked diligently to have necessary modifications made to
the curriculum reform. "The work we have done representing teachers and their
concerns has been beneficial in clarifying many aspects of the reform," said
Maureen Morris, President of QPAT. In light of SOM survey results announced
earlier this week, even though QPAT did not sponsor or participate in the
survey, it is clear that the reform raises many concerns still as to how it is
being implemented. "We will continue to work to ensure that the government and
school boards fulfill their responsibility to teachers so that they have a
better capacity to implement the reform", Morris added. In recent months, the
ministère de l'Education, du Loisir et du Sport (MELS) and the Minister of
Education have agreed with the QPAT view that certain elements of the reform
needed clarification or changes, including the following:

    - Basic, fundamental knowledge is an essential part of what students
      should be learning from teachers, not just general competencies;
    - The Science and Technology and Work-Oriented programs, which were to be
      implemented in September, 2007 have been delayed by a year. This will
      give teachers and school boards more time to adapt;
    - Cross-curricular competencies will be subject to a re-examination to
      reevaluate their relevance and feasibility.

    The progress represents movement in the right direction, but more needs to
be done. "The steps taken by the Minister are important, but not sufficient.
There are many issues which remain to be addressed and if the reform is to
have a chance of succeeding, further adjustments need to be made", continued
Morris. QPAT believes that the following are necessary to improve the
curriculum reform's implementation:

    - It is imperative to examine further the state of affairs as regards the
      integration of special needs students in regular classes and the impact
      that this has on their learning and the learning of the other students
      in the class. Students should not have their learning compromised by
      being placed in a group where they cannot receive the attention they

    - The MELS and the school boards must ensure that proper support and
      training be provided to teachers immediately. Failing this, teachers,
      despite their best efforts, will not be able to help students in the
      best way possible.

    - The MELS must produce resources which will make the implementation of
      reform easier for all teachers, especially with respect to evaluation
      and the importance of basic knowledge within the evaluation process.
      This will ensure that students will acquire certain basic knowledge,
      and allow for clearer information to be conveyed to parents about their
      child's progress.

    - Pedagogical and didactic materials, including textbooks, need to be
      developed and made available. Currently, there are virtually no
      approved materials for use in class in the English sector. The MELS and
      the English school boards must take immediate action to rectify this
      situation, as this issue is of great significance in the English sector
      and teachers are feeling a mounting frustration at the lack of

    The Quebec Provincial Association of Teachers is the federation of unions
which represents the teachers in the English school boards in Quebec. It has a
membership of 8000 teachers.

For further information:

For further information: Jean-Paul Fossey, Office: (514) 694-9777, Cell:
(514) 434-2168; Source: Quebec Provincial Association of Teachers

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