The school of all dangers

The Prime Minister throws the ball. He is concerned about the growing number of coronavirus infections in schools.

The Minister of Education tempers his leader by arguing that he is in control and that the means put forward to stem community transmission are working.

The Minister of Health is sorry for not having acted upstream to improve ventilation in schools.

Amid this tumult, the government continues to discuss other means to deploy.

Formation of smaller groups, school closures, distance education and an extension of the holiday break are fueling public rumor.

The oppositions criticize the government statements, because they are seeds of insecurity within the population.

The Autonomous Federation of Education balks by complaining that the resources promised are not there and that there can be no question of extending the school year.

Parents oppose a longer holiday break that would lead to child care problems.

A wind of moderation on the part of the Federation of Education Unions which deplores the political balloons launched without the actors in the field being able to discuss it. Implied, we should talk to each other!

Always late

By following the news related to education, we quickly get the feeling that the pandemic is a few steps ahead of decision-makers.

Too often we observe improvisation, contradictions in the ministerial process, delays in the chain of command and a great lack of unity to lead the fight.

Not all faults are attributable to the government, but its leadership appears to be lacking in a sector as critical as education.

Having spent much of my career there, I have seen how laborious decision-making and implementing action plans can be without even a health crisis.

The Department of Education was called a dinosaur. The unions were particularly good at lengthening debates. The administrators and the parents were not doing the economy of corporatist by privileging the interest of their group.

I often said to my collaborators, it is a chance not to be at war, because we would all have died with this slowness to put in action.

Close ranks

Sadly, education players are now at war with a very devastating invisible enemy. This adversary requires more coherence and cohesion to fight it successfully.

In our parliamentary system, prime ministers tend to want to control everything. It is clear that this is hardly productive for education in this health crisis.

The time has come to set up an Education Defense Council where all the major players would be invited to jointly lead the fight.

This presupposes a common will by avoiding preconceptions, moderating the desirable, excelling in the art of compromise and focusing mainly on the doable.

So will education go!

www.journaldequebec.com

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