|Student Retention: Professionals have an Important Role to Play|
Montreal, November 18, 2013 – Education professionals must be front-line players in the student retention policy implemented by the Ministère de l’Éducation du Loisir et du Sport (MELS).
This statement comes from Johanne Pomerleau, president of the Fédération des professionnelles et professionnels de l’éducation du Québec (FPPE-CSQ) upon the launch of Education Professionals’ Week, which takes place from November 18 to 23 throughout Quebec.
Act Before the Student Drops Out
It is a well-known fact that most students who drop out of school usually do so because of academic or personal problems while they are in school. These are precisely the problems addressed every day by the psychologists, psycho educators, remedial teachers and speech therapists who work behind the scenes in the schools.
For several years now, the FPPE (CSQ) has been saying that there are not enough education professionals to effectively address the problem. In fact, more than half its members must provide service to several schools (sometimes up to 19 schools per person).
“How do you expect a speech therapist, psychologist or psycho educator to provide the adequate follow-up to students they only see once or twice a year? Who, if not qualified professionals, can intervene with students who are so discouraged by the problems they are facing at school that they would rather sacrifice their future than go back?” asks Johanne Pomerleau.
Stop Suffocating the School Boards and the Education Community
Two days ago, Minister Malavoy also stated that school boards will have to repay $100M of the tax hikes collected in 2013 to make up for years of cutbacks in education.
“It makes us wonder what money we are going to use to achieve this student retention policy. Are we going to ask the stakeholders, of whom there are not enough and who do not have enough time, to do more?” concludes Johanne Pomerleau.
The Fédération des professionnelles et professionnels de l'éducation du Québec (FPPECSQ) represents 20 unions with 7,300 members spread throughout most of Quebec’s French, English, Cree and Kativik school boards. Among its members are various categories of personnel from the administrative, educational and student services sectors (among others, psychologists, psychoeducators, speech therapists, guidance counsellors, remedial teachers, and spiritual care and guidance and community involvement animators).
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Michael J. Cohen