Dec 062013

The Eastern Shores Teachers Association (ESTA) opposes the proposed Charter of Quebec Values (bill 60). We believe that the charter addresses a non-existent problem and is, therefore, unnecessary.

Ever since Quebec transitioned from confessional to linguistic school boards, the public school system was enshrined in secularism. Through the collective bargaining process, both at the provincial and local levels, the matter of religious accommodations has been successfully addressed.

The late Nelson Mandela believed that, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Mandela believed that education would create a more tolerant citizenry that would be accepting of cultural and religious differences. Therefore, students must continue to be exposed to cultural and religious diversity.

On November 13, 2013, the ESTA Board of Directors unanimously passed the following resolution: “THAT ESTA decry the Charter Affirming The Values Of Secularism And the Religious Neutrality Of The State, As Well As The Equality Of Men And Women, And The Framing Of Accommodation Requests [i.e. Quebec Charter of Values or bill 60]on the basis that the Charter is not necessary.”

Mar 122013

A broad coalition of groups under the banner of Coalition prioritéducation has been formed to demand that the provincial government stop the continued cutbacks in the education budget. This coalition was initiated by the Fédération des comités de parents du Québec (FCPQ), the organization of parents’ committees in the French sector, and many groups have joined this coalition, including QPAT and the other teacher federations in the province, principals’ associations, the school board federations, and parent groups in the English sector.

The coalition has placed a petition on the National Assembly’s website calling for a stop to the cuts in education funding. The text of the petition “Making Public Education a Genuine Priority” is the following:

WHEREAS we want to make public education a genuine national priority for all of Québec;

WHEREAS the budget cuts to education in recent years have had numerous adverse effects on the quality of life in the educational community and have hampered academic perseverance and success;

WHEREAS these cuts have exacerbated social inequality among students and regional communities;

WHEREAS academic perseverance and success are crucial to the development of a healthy, committed and prosperous society;

We, the citizens of Québec, demand that the National Assembly convince the government to cease these cuts and take means to ensure an important and adequate investment in the quality of the education environment in schools so that public education becomes a genuine national priority, capable of meeting the needs of all students.

Teachers in all of QPAT’s local unions are encouraged to sign the petition on the National Assembly’s website at the following address:

It is recommended to use the online petition. However, copies of the petition may be printed from the coalition’s website and returned to the FCPQ. Go to the following site to print a copy; please note that the entire document must be printed without editing. EN.pdf 

Apr 032011

The new targets for academic success established by the Ministry of Education, Leisure and Sports (MELS) through its Partnership/Management Agreements is generating much concern among teachers who fear that they will be forced to grade their students easier in order to meet the success rate imposed on them. If teachers don’t evaluate students on their true abilities and knowledge, how can it be in the best interest of the students?

Moreover, after lengthy discussions concerning the integration of students with special needs, teachers are concerned about lengthy delays (which Ms. Line Beauchamp has said could drag on until the Fall of 2012). In the Government’s recent budget, $240 million was allocated for technology in education but nothing was allocated for special education!

Teachers throughout the province are invited to join QPAT, FSE-CSQ and other interest groups at a public demonstration at l’Assemblée Nationale in Quebec City on May 14th at 11 a.m.

This promises to be a massive event! For more information, you are invited to visit the FSE website (French or English). QPAT will be informing its members shortly through its website and possibly its Liaison newsletter, so stay tuned!

Of course, its a long way away to Quebec City for ESTA-AEES members so I invite you to participate in one of the following ways:

  • Leave a word of encouragement on QPAT’s Facebook or Twitter page.
  • Complete and send the survey “Common Report Card” that you will soon receive in your school/centre.
  • Leave a comment on the ESTA website, Facebook page, or Twitter page.