Announcement by the Education Minister Regarding a Course in Financial Education
The Minister of Education, Sébastien Proulx, announced on December 16, 2016, that a course in Financial Education would become compulsory for all secondary V students as of the 2017-2018 school year.
In order to accommodate this course into the student timetable, the minister announced that the required credits for Contemporary World would be reduced from four to two in order to allow for the two credit required course in Financial Education. It was also announced that schools could offer an additional two credits in Contemporary World as an optional course.
QPAT Reaction to the Announcement
QPAT has written directly to the minister to express our strong disagreement with the decision. Specifically, we have stated the following:
- The Financial Education program is too narrow and limited to be a required course and causes the students to focus on themselves rather than opening them to the greater world;
- The reduction of time and credits for the Contemporary World program devalues the program and reduces the students’ opportunity to become more open to and aware of the world while the world becomes ever more interconnected;
- The minister’s decision has been made hastily and there has been no meaningful consultation about how to implement a new required course, specifically with teachers, in order to examine properly different implementation scenarios that would make more sense;
- Teachers are not ready to implement this program as we have no sense that the training and necessary learning materials will be ready in English in time for the fall of 2017;
- Many social studies teachers in our schools will have to implement the new secondary IV History of Quebec and Canada program, implement the Financial Education program and dramatically change how they present the Contemporary World program all at once during the 2017-2018 year, which will compromise the teaching and learning of these programs;
- Any implementation of the Financial Education course must be pushed back until at least the 2018-2019 school year. QPAT will continue to work on this matter.