Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard selected Dr. Yves Bolduc to head the Education department about a week ago. Dr. Bolduc, a general practitioner from Alma, thus becomes Quebec’s latest Education Minister. Unsurprisingly, he expressed his hope that the government would make education a priority as good health was a by-product of good education.
In a sit-down interview to Global News, the new Education Minister said, “The priority of the government should be education, because if you go to school, you’re going to have a good job and you’re going to be less sick.” In an attempt to kick-start his attempts to make education become a key focal point for the government, Dr. Bolduc met with several education workers, as he detailed his priorities.
One of those priorities is to focus on improving the standards of English teaching in schools. During his interview, Dr. Bolduc declared that he backed the concept of military families retaining their access to English schools. He also mentioned that he had shelved the PQ’s plans of re-writing the history curriculum and filling it with more nationalist content. In addition, he expressed his willingness to meet Quebec’s Anglophone community to discuss the feasibility of English schools teaching more French.
Dr. Bolduc said, “I always thought it’s very important for our children to learn English, but it doesn’t mean we don’t want them to be good in French. We want people to be good in French and we want them to have a second language, even a third language.”
Dr. Bolduc’s plans and priorities have triggered warning signals at the Quebec School Board Federation. President Josée Bouchard realises that budget cuts are imminent and that they would have repercussions on student services.
Similarly, Dr. Bolduc’s plan to continue to index tuition fees, as part of his responsibility for Higher Education, has also earned the ire of students from I’ASSE. ASSE spokesperson Benjamin Gingras said, “Indexation is a tuition fee increase and we will fight it, doesn’t matter who’s in charge of education.”
Dr. Bolduc believes that the system is sick, but he is also aware that overnight changes seldom yield results. With four and a half years before him, he knows that he would need to make the system better for students and teachers alike. Only then, would they be able to lead healthier and more fulfilled lives, thereby contributing to the country’s success and prosperity.
Source: Global News