(Quebec) By giving himself the power to appoint and dismiss the directors general of school service centres, Bernard Drainville is correcting the failures of the previous CAQ reform in education, believes the opposition, which accuses him of attacking his own creature created when the school boards were abolished.
La Presse revealed on Wednesday that the Minister of Education will table a bill in Quebec on Thursday in which he will give himself more powers in the management of the school network. In a recent interview, last March, Prime Minister François Legault also deplored that directors general make decisions that do not always please the government, and this, with the agreement of their boards of directors.
These leaders will now be accountable to the minister. Is the government taking too much power?
“What they’re going to do is they’re going to ask the chief executives to be the spokespersons for the department at all times [and] report only to the minister. There are boards of directors that no longer have any real power in school service centers, ”lamented Pascal Bérubé of the Parti Québécois (PQ).
“In other words, [Bernard Drainville] wants to make sure we have total control in all the structures. I think this bill does nothing for the network, except for the minister. […] This is another demonstration of the power that the government of the Coalition avenir Québec wants to arrogate to itself,” he added.
For André Fortin of the Quebec Liberal Party (PLQ), this new education reform is proof of a “massive failure” of the Coalition avenir Québec (CAQ) government in terms of school governance.
“What they were telling us was [that they were giving] more power to the parents. Today, we see groups of parents fighting in Montreal for services and in Laval because the lunch hour costs are disproportionate. I hope that the next reform, whatever version it will have, will give more places to parents, ”he listed.
“If Minister Drainville wants to propose another structural reform to us, it is a clear statement of failure towards the one that had been proposed and adopted by Minister Jean-François Roberge,” added Mr. Fortin.
In his reform, Bernard Drainville will also create a national institute of excellence in education. This new organization will represent for the school network what the National Institute of Excellence in Health and Social Services (INESSS) is for health. However, the teachers’ unions have always been opposed to it.
For the parliamentary leader of Québec solidaire (QS), Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, it will be necessary above all to monitor in the bill of the Minister of Education the solutions he brings to the shortage of qualified labor in education.
“There is a lack of teachers and there is a lack of professionals. How do you bring these people back into the education system? If the Drainville reform doesn’t address that, it’s missing the number one problem in education right now,” he said.